Match: Bethlehem Steel FC vs. FC Cincinnati
Date: Saturday, April 29
Time: 5:00 pm
Refs: Referee- Danielle Chesky AR1- Brian Dunn AR2- Patrick Casey 4TH- Matthew Vodzak
No, this isn’t a repost. The USL soccer gods (also known as the people that made the schedule) have decided it would be neat to have these two teams just get all three of their matchups out of the way before June. That being said, let’s talk some soccer!
How Cincy will look: Since Cincy’s loss at Bethlehem, things have been happening for the Orange and Blue. They stomped Saint Louis FC by a score of 4-0 and then followed that up with a pair of 1-1 draws against Tampa Bay and Louisville City. Speaking of that LouCity game, Djiby Fall had a bit of a rough night, seeing red for a risky challenge and picking up a 5 game ban upon farther review for allegedly biting someone. Friend of the program and fantastic Cincy beat writer Michael Walker has you covered on that side of things. His quote below.
Good news for Bethlehem right? Maybe not so much. Seattle Sounders loanee and lightning fast Sierra Leone native Victor Mansaray looks to be the heir apparent to the FC Cincinnati striker throne for the next handful of games. That being said, last time out the Blue and Orange didn’t expect a 2-0 loss to Bethlehem. Alan Koch didn’t expect to be forced to make two changes in 25 minutes. Cincinnati still don’t think they should be sixth in the East. Expect a dynamic, charged up Cincy side that won’t settle for anything besides theee points.
What Steel will look like: Don’t look now, but these two teams are equal in terms of goals allowed and goals scored. If you had told me that in February I would’ve laughed at you. That being said, here we are. Both clubs have six goals scored and eight conceded, with the main difference being that Steel have spaced them out. Look for Seku Conneh to stay hot, and if Adam Najem is in the Valley today he should really pick apart the FC Cincy defense. Other really encouraging news is James Chambers is back from his time off after the absolutely tragic/unfair/unfortunate passing of his father. While I don’t expect him to play, his leadership and fire might have Bethlehem stealing another win from Cincinnati.
-Tomas Romero is still with El Salvador so be on the lookout for Jake McGuire, John McCarthy or even Matt Freese in net tonight.
-I talked about Mansaray a lot for Cincy but really it could be any one of four guys for Alan Koch. Daryl Fordyce is another option as is wily veteran and ever-dangerous bench option Omar Cummings.
-Cincinnati is somewhat undisciplined. Over their first five games they’ve picked up three red cards. Obviously not ideal and we’ll see if that was early season nerves or some kind of trend going forward.
Thoughts? Comments? Let us know in the comments!