In what ended up being a stoppage time-less match, FC Cincinnati finally figured out Bethlehem Steel FC to the tune of a 2-1 win Saturday night at Nippert Stadium. Recent addition to the squad Danni Konig was the difference for the Orange and Blue, getting a brace and generally being a nuisance for the Bethlehem back line. Jimmy McLaughlin continued his resurgence as a winger as well as an early candidate for most improved/comeback player of the year, but that’s another story. Bethlehem came close to an equalizer a few times but a combination of poor finishing and Mitch Hildebrandt doing Mitch Hildebrandt-y things saw Steel retreat to the Valley with nothing to show for it.
I really only get to use the “hey it was experience for the kids” recap once, so here we go. With Auston Trusty out for International duty (the USMNT U20s kicked off at 4 am earlier this morning) it made sense to bring in Ken Tribbett. The most impressive part of preseason two years ago, Tribbett was serviceable for the Union early on before falling off a good bit later in the season. Since then he’s been stuck behind Jack Elliot and Oguchi Onyewu on the depth chart. Bethlehem serves as a chance for guys to show their worth, whether it be for the better (Trus, Derrick Jones, Giliano Wijnaldium) or for worse (Jamie Luchini, Cole Missimo, Anderson). It’s a bit too early to tell which side of the line Tribs is on but here’s hoping it’s a brief stint in Bethlehem and then back to the first team with him.
That being said, Chris Nanco continues to be a revelation, Jake McGuire had a bit of an off night and still looked great, and everyone got to play in a game in front of 18,000 plus people in the rain. Steel lose the match, despite some good looking attacking soccer and a Seku Conneh penalty kick goal. The positive is that have an extra bit of experience and a really tough road fixture out of the way now before a huge week that starts with Charleston at 11AM (yep, in the morning) on Thursday.
-Seku Conneh moved into sole ownership of the BSFC scoring record, so congratulations are due to him for that.
-The game was ended without stoppage time being played, so Cincy has yet to beat Bethlehem this year in a completely finished soccer match.
-I mentioned it above, but you could do worse things this week then check out Derrick Jones and Auston Trusty in International action. Trusy was a late addition and this is Derrick’s first USMNT appearance after becoming eligible earlier in the Spring.
Steel take on first place Charleston Battery Thursday morning, be on the lookout for our coverage of that one later this week!