Talen Energy Stadium will be seeing plenty of soccer in the first three months of the USL Championship with eight Bethlehem Steel FC games scheduled for the team’s “temporary” home over the first three months of the season.
After opening the season against Birmingham Legion FC, the Steel will return home for a three-game home stand in March and will have three-game stretches in Chester in May and June.
Though we won’t know until the release of the Major League Soccer schedule how many games will be part of double-headers in Chester or will overlap with first team road games, the schedule does represent a shift from the Sunday afternoon heavy schedule from the Steel’s first three seasons playing at Goodman Stadium.
The 2019 schedule doesn’t include any Sunday dates; 25 of the 34 games are on Saturdays, two are on Fridays and the other seven games are on weekdays (one Tuesday, four Wednesday and one Thursday). The Steel will play its Thursday game on the Fourth of July at the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
In addition to home games at Talen Energy Stadium, the team will play at MLS venues Children’s Mercy Stadium in Kansas City and Audi Field in Washington D.C. and three NFL/CFL venues against Indy Eleven, Nashville SC and Ottawa Fury. Road games against Louisville City FC and Memphis 901 FC will both be played at baseball stadiums.
Kickoff times have not been released.
In addition to the schedule release, the league has also announced the playoff format, which will be expanded from eight teams in each of the two conferences to 10 teams from each in 2019. The 7-10 seeds will be part of a play-in round to start the playoffs on October 23. USL Cup will be played some time between November 14 and 18.
The Union announced last month that the team would be playing at Talen Energy Stadium in 2019 because a suitable venue in the Lehigh Valley could not be secured. The team elected to keep Bethlehem in the name because they say they are committed to returning to the Lehigh Valley.
2019 Bethlehem Steel FC Schedule
|Date||Home Team||Away Team||Venue|
|Date||Home Team||Away Team||Venue|
|Saturday, March 9||Birmingham Legion FC||Bethelehem Steel||BBVA Compass Field|
|Saturday, March 16||Bethlehem Steel||North Carolina FC||Talen Energy Stadium|
|Saturday, March 23||Bethlehem Steel||Memphis 901 FC||Talen Energy Stadium|
|Saturday, March 30||Bethlehem Steel||Pittsburgh Riverhounds||Talen Energy Stadium|
|Saturday, April 6||Swope Park Rangers||Bethelehem Steel||Children's Mercy Stadium|
|Saturday, April 13||Bethlehem Steel||Charleston Battery||Talen Energy Stadium|
|Tuesday, April 16||Charlotte Independence||Bethelehem Steel||Sportsplex at Matthews|
|Wednesday, April 24||Bethlehem Steel||Indy Eleven||Talen Energy Stadium|
|Friday, May 3||Loudoun United||Bethelehem Steel||Audi Field|
|Friday, April 12||Bethlehem Steel||Atlanta United 2||Talen Energy Stadium|
|Saturday, May 18||Bethlehem Steel||Ottawa Fury||Talen Energy Stadium|
|Saturday, May 25||Bethlehem Steel||Louisville City||Talen Energy Stadium|
|Saturday, June 1||New York Red Bulls II||Bethelehem Steel||MSU Soccer Park|
|Saturday, June 1||Bethlehem Steel||Nashville SC||Talen Energy Stadium|
|Saturday, June 15||Bethlehem Steel||Saint Louis FC||Talen Energy Stadium|
|Saturday, June 22||Bethlehem Steel||Tampa Bay Rowdies||Talen Energy Stadium|
|Saturday, June 29||Hartford Athletic||Bethelehem Steel||Dillon Stadium|
|Thursday, July 4||Pittsburgh Riverhounds||Bethelehem Steel||Highmark Stadium|
|Wednesday, July 10||Bethlehem Steel||New York Red Bulls II||Talen Energy Stadium|
|Saturday, July 20||Louisville City||Bethelehem Steel||Louisville Slugger Field|
|Saturday, July 27||Saint Louis FC||Bethelehem Steel||Toyota Stadium|
|Wednesday, July 31||Bethlehem Steel||Hartford Athletic||Talen Energy Stadium|
|Saturday, August 10||Nashville SC||Bethelehem Steel||Nissan Field|
|Saturday, August 17||Tampa Bay Rowdies||Bethelehem Steel||Al Lang Stadium|
|Saturday, August 24||Bethlehem Steel||Birmingham Legion||Talen Energy Stadium|
|Saturday, August 31||Bethlehem Steel||Swope Park Rangers||Talen Energy Stadium|
|Saturday, September 7||North Carolina FC||Bethelehem Steel||WakeMed Soccer Park|
|Saturday, September 14||Indy Eleven||Bethelehem Steel||Lucas Oil Stadium|
|Saturday, September 21||Bethlehem Steel||Loudoun United FC||Talen Energy Stadium|
|Saturday, September 28||Memphis 901 FC||Bethelehem Steel||AutoZone Park|
|Saturday, October 5||Bethlehem Steel||Charlotte Independence||Talen Energy Stadium|
|Wednesday, October 9||Atlanta United 2||Bethelehem Steel||Fifth Third Bank Stadium|
|Saturday, October 12||Ottawa Fury||Bethelehem Steel||TD Place Stadium|
|Saturday, October 19||Charleston Battery||Bethelehem Steel||MUSC Health Stadium|
|Wednesday, October 23||Play-In Round|
|Friday, October 25||Conference Quarterfinals|
|Saturday, October 26||Conference Quarterfinals|
|Sunday, October 27||Conference Quarterfinals|
|Friday, November 1||Conference Semifinals|
|Saturday, November 2||Conference Semifinals|
|Sunday, November 3||Conference Semifinals|
|Friday, November 8||Conference Finals|
|Saturday, November 9||Conference Finals|
|Sunday, November 10||Conference Finals|
|Thursday, November 14||USL Cup|
|Friday, November 15||USL Cup|
|Saturday, November 16||USL Cup|
|Sunday, November 17||USL Cup|
|Monday, November 18||USL Cup|