Match: Bethlehem Steel vs. Saint Louis FC
Date: June 11th, 2017
Time: 5:00pm Eastern (4:00pm Central)
Refs: REF- Lukas Szpala AR1- Walter Heatherly AR2- Brooke Mayo 4TH- Spenser Scopel
Steel all time vs St Louis: 0-0-0
What Saint Louis will look like:
While this is another unfamiliar foe, with StL switching from Western conference to Eastern conference this year, the side features a few familiar faces. Notably Christian Volesky, who should be the focal point of the Saint Louis attack. Volesky put up big numbers for Rochester in the last two years, bagging 20 goals in 50 appearances. Saint Louis also nabbed keeper Adam Grinwis from Rochester as well as Konrad Plewa from NYRB II in what look to be some very solid horizontal signings for a club that struggled mightily last year. They also can get some big output from veteran Colombian and former City Islander/Riverhound/Ft Lauderdale Striker Jose Angulo. The USL journeyman is incredibly sharp and might give a younger Bethlehem team some trouble come Sunday. Saint Louis has been a strong team at home, but is susceptible to the counter attack, due to Preki’s tendency to throw everyone forward, leaving a scattered back line very thinly composed.
What Bethlehem will look like:
The biggest news (if you missed it midweek, read up on it here) is that Cory Burke will be unavailable this weekend. Playing for Jamaica in their warm up to the Gold Cup against Peru, the Reggae Boyz travel schedule just wasn’t going to work for the Steel FC winger. That being said it sounded in his midweek presser that Coach Burke was going to field Marcus Epps and Chris Nanco, which should cause some headaches for Saint Louis. Obviously besides that it should be a whole host of the usual suspects for Steel FC. Seku Conneh’s red hot last month or so should continue here, as it just seems like he is able to run hold up play and find some pockets of space with minimal effort. He also unleashed a screamer against Callum Irving that would be a great addition to his arsenal. Coach Burke mentioned about just trying to get Conneh to get in behind a bit more, but we’ll see what kind of looks he gets without Cory Burke, who has been one of the more consistent distributors this season. I’m also hopeful for the return of Matt Real this weekend, who didn’t feature last week but looked incredibly sharp against Harrisburg.
Predictions are meant to be broken, but with Saint Louis’ current home record, I’ll take the home side to defeat Steel 3-2 this weekend.