Match: Bethlehem Steel FC vs Toronto FC II
Date: Sunday, August 13th
Time and Venue: 5:00pm Murray H Goodman Stadium (Campus of Lehigh University) Bethlehem PA
Refs: REF: Kevin Broadley AR1: Amilcar Sicaju AR2: Victor Vazquez 4TH: Michael Guzzetta
Steel All Time vs TFC II(W-D-L): (1-0-2)
What Toronto FC II should look like: After a shocking win over Charleston (a very shorthanded Charleston) and a big draw over Charlotte, Toronto has plenty of momentum coming into this Sunday night match up. That being said, Toronto this year at home are a completely different team than Toronto away. The Junior Reds are a respectable 3-3-4 within the confines of the Ontario Soccer Centre but a jaw dropping 1-9-2 away from it. They’ve clicked in the last week or two, with a big win over the then Eastern Conference number one Charleston Battery and an even bigger draw against the current number one Charlotte Independence. Honing in on the Jacks draw, Toronto will have to get a big impact from Jordan Hamilton. Hamilton had both goals against the Independence, including the late game stunner. He can do it all (as can Shaan Hundal) and Steel’s backline will have to shut things down if they want the win. Oh, and the parent club loans down Tsubasa Endoh more often than not and he’s MLS quality on his day.
What Bethlehem Steel FC should look like: After a huge come from behind win against Toronto’s Provincial neighbors, Steel come back home to Goodman seeking a big win. After what might be career (so far) performances for both Chris Nanco and Santi Moar, Brendan Burke will hope to get more of the same from his wingers. Midweek, Coach Burke said that “you have to get the points when they’re there.” and with a midweek Charlotte match looming a win (and a series win) against TFC II looks like points for the taking. Even better news for Steel is that Seku Conneh is back. He was out last week for undisclosed reasons that were non injury related. Hopefully Conneh has everything in his arsenal for this match, but with so many options, is he the first guy off the bench this weekend? Elsewhere, Tomas Romero will look to get his second win and his first win in the US this weekend. After a quality performance against Ottawa, Romero will look to build on an already incredible resume. With rotation coming midweek, this should be a full strength Steel team this weekend.
Prediction: I don’t trust Toronto to stay consistent as much as I do a (largely) consistent Bethlehem side. Steel pick up a 3-1 win.