If you've ever seen the Steel Stacks in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania they aren't exactly the most beautiful things. Sure the city has done a nice job of putting up planters and a walkway and a bit of an entertainment district around these behemoth structures, but they Stacks themselves? They look like how Bethlehem Steel want to play. Hulking towers that had one job for nearly 150 years - to mechanically produce until it's time to go home.
That brings us to Bethlehem Steel FC. One of the new kids on the block, BSFC are looking to make no bones about what they want to do - get results and forge future stars. John McCarthy should be back in net after having a relatively quiet night against FC Montreal due to a great back line. And what a steel trap of a line that is. Anchored by right back Ryan Richter who turned in a Team of the Week performance against Montreal, Richter should be joined by Josh Yaro, Mickey Daly, and Taylor Washington. The midfield will most likely boast wingers Eric Ayuk who looked like he was melting the Montreal defense to nothingness, and probably Walter Restrepo who took on all comers in true blue collar style last week. Centrally FC Cincinnati should expect to be met by no-nonsense Irishman James Chambers, Academy crown jewel and goal scoring machine Derrick Jones, and New York Red Bulls Academy stand out and beast of a man Bolu Akinyode. In terms of striker Fabian Herbers will most likely be with the Union first team this weekend given he has been getting some good minutes off the bench for the first team. Starting up top this week is probably going to be Corey Burke. We saw about ten or so minutes from him against FC Montreal and he looked capable. Big guy, good in the air, seems to have a bit of temper that is loved when you play with him and hated when you play against him. The loanee from Rivoli United surely would like to join Romario Williams on the list of "Jamaican strikers that burned FC Cincinnati" and he should definitely have a fair amount of chances to do so.
That leads us to potential spoilers FC Cincinnati. The newly founded club doesn't have an affiliate, but they do have some familiar faces of guys who didn't get a fair shake in the MLS. Former Philadelphia Union players Austin Berry, Jimmy McLaughlin, Corben Bone and Antoine Hoppenot will all feature for FC Cincy, with McLaughlin putting in a pretty good effort last week against a Charleston Battery side that is consistently one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. They had quite an impressive marketing campaign and have lined up a lot of sponsors, to the point where a cynic might call them a PR machine. On the field however Cincy have reason to be optimistic. Manager John Harkes (yeah, the former USMNT captain) has established a side that is very technically sound, and looked to be victims of circumstance week one, with the rain delay making the pitch more like a pond, and a flukey goal by Romario Williams saw them drop their first match. They'll get a lift on the pitch too. Former Sacramento Republic/Portland Timbers 2 center back Harrison Delbridge is an absolute rock for the club, and will look to pair well with former Rochester Rhino left back Pat McMahon