After beating Richmond and drawing Charleston, Bethlehem Steel FC finished a tricky homestand undefeated by holding Louisville City FC to a draw Sunday afternoon at Goodman Stadium.
The first twenty minutes were all Steel FC. The home side dominated possession and looked to be on pace to pull a shock win over the Eastern Conference leaders. Louisville's lack of possession was clearly frustrating their players, as ex-Philadelphia Union draft pick Aodhan Quinn picked up a yellow card (that would unfortunately set the tone for five others later) after just 13 minutes. Chandler Hoffman (another ex-Union draft pick) wasn't lost for chances either. Two or three good crosses in from either Kadeem Dacres or Andrew Lubhan narrowly missed the leading goal scorer's head or saw him nod them just wide of John McCarthy's net.
It cannot be stressed enough, however, that Auston Trusty continues to leave everyone's jaw on the floor. For a 17-year old to be playing as well as he is with multiple defensive partners is a testament to how good this kid has been. The rest of the defense played well too. For as much credit as John McCarthy deserves, his defense played quite the game. Taylor Washington played more like the back that impressed so much in week one and Ryan Richter still continues to be a potential first team talent. Anderson Conceicao looked fine before he unfortunately took a fall off of a Louisville set piece and had to come out of the match. Mickey Daly did fine to close out the game as his replacement.
For a 0-0 draw this was a pretty good showing. Walter Restrepo finally showed what convinced the Union to pick him up, and Fabian Herbers and Leo Fernandes did well to win balls and hold up the attack until Steel FC had numbers. Honestly in the two minutes of stoppage time Steel FC looked to be very close to the winning goal. James Chambers hit a great diagonal ball that found Seku Conneh who had his shot blocked, and Richter's cross almost immediately after was found by Derrick Jones who's header just went high of the crossbar.
John McCarthy gets the man of the match and rightfully so. Two straight clean sheets and this one put him to work. Hoffman et al. had seven shots on target and McCarthy was equal to every one, including one or two that he didn't seem to know a whole lot about.
Next week Bethlehem Steel FC take on the lion cubs of Orlando City B. As always, be sure to stay tuned for a match preview and any other news that comes out of the Lehigh Valley soccer scene right here.