Union Academy midfielder Nick Blacklock had a pair of goals and assisted on another in a 3-2 win for Bethlehem Steel FC over Chargers Soccer Club in their second preseason match on Tuesday night in Clearwater.
In a game resembling a U.S. Soccer Development Academy match with an academy-heavy lineup, the home team took an early lead four minutes in but Blacklock led the comeback after entering as one of the pre-planned substitutions in the 32nd minute.
The Virginia Tech commit scored his first in the 33rd minute from the run of play off an assist from Shanyder Borgelin and slotted home a free kick seven minutes later to put the Steel up 2-1.
Chargers leveled the score in the 70th minute, but it was Blacklock’s service on a corner in the 90th minute that found the head of U19 teammate Sekou Soumah for the game winner.
Head coach Brendan Burke used 22 players in the match — 13 from the academy, five from the roster and four unnamed trialists (Walter Cortes, Chavany Willis and John Murphy have been on trial and appeared in the first scrimmage).
The game was a homecoming for academy and U.S. youth international right back Nathan Harriel, who faced his former team for the first time since leaving to join the Union Academy.
The Steel will be continuing their preseason back home. They are scheduled to host FC Motown at YSC Sports on Sunday and have road preseason matches against Richmond Kickers on February 22 in Leesburg, Va. and February 24 at Pittsburgh Riverhounds coming up.
Bethlehem Steel FC Lineup
Lukas Burns# (Kris Shakes# 46’) – Trialist (JD Wagner# 46’), Sekou Soumah#, Michael Pellegrino# (Trialist 62’), Nathan Harriel# (Tonny Temple# 32’) – Cole Turner# (Axel Picazo# 32’) (Trialist 46’), James Chambers (Danny Flores# 32’), Trialist (Nick Blacklock# 32’), Zach Zandi (Selmir Miscic 32’) Faris (Patrick Bohui# 32’), Saed Diaz (Shanyder Borgelin# 32’)