Photo courtesy of Harrisburg City Islanders
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Bethlehem Steel FC continues to forge ahead on the road as James Chambers’ second-half goal lifted the side to a 1-0 victory against the Harrisburg City Islanders on Tuesday at FNB Field. Bethlehem has now won three straight – all on the road – and has extended its unbeaten streak to five games (4-0-1). Bethlehem’s road trip also included a 2-1 win against Saint Louis FC (June 11) and a 2-0 victory against the defending champion New York Red Bulls II (this past Friday). The victory also puts Steel FC over the .500 mark with a 7-6-1 record (22 points) overall (4-3-0 on the road). The Eastern Conference’s last-place Harrisburg falls to 2-7-4 (10 points) overall and suffers its first loss at home (1-1-3). The City Islanders, who are now winless in 10 straight (0-6-4), had to play the remaining 10 minutes down a man when Lee Nishanian was sent off for fouling Seku Conneh as the final defender on a potential goal-scoring chance.
54’- BST – James Chambers (Adam Najem)
#HARvBST: Full match and Opta box score
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Steel FC played less like a road team as it dictated play against Harrisburg with stronger movement and passing to create its chances. It was only a matter of time before Bethlehem would break through, and it wound up being the club’s captain James Chambers in the 54th minute. After goalkeeper John McCarthy played a deep ball toward the attacking left corner, the ball was dropped back to Chambers making a run. He gave-and-go with Adam Najem and slotted his shot past City Islanders goalkeeper Brandon Miller’s right boot for a 1-0 advantage. Chambers has three goals on the season, which ranks second on the Bethlehem roster.
2. Bethlehem needed only the first 10 minutes to threaten Miller and his City Islanders defense. Seku Conneh’s seventh-minute attempt was denied with a Miller punch save, and Harrisburg escaped a 10th-minute strike from Steel FC Richie Marquez that struck the underside of the crossbar. The City Islanders were fortune that his vicious attempt did not cross the goal line, and the defense cleared out of harm’s way.
3. Philadelphia Union defender Keegan Rosenberry, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, made his USL debut Tuesday with the start at right back. The 23-year-old Pennsylvania native and 2016 runner-up in the MLS Rookie of the Year voting spent a couple of seasons with the Premier Development League’s Reading United AC (2014-15) and starred at Georgetown before making the professional move to the Union. Rosenberry had a relatively quiet night against a City Islanders team that played quite a few long passes and didn’t build up in its attack. He played the full 90 minutes. Rosenberry did get involved in the attacking end a few times with some long throw-ins and a dangerous cross that resulted in a botched scissor kick opportunity from Marquez.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
James Chambers, Bethlehem Steel FC – The team captain rose in the moment with the game’s only goal as Bethlehem stayed in control to cap off a 3-0-0 road trip.
Harrisburg City Islanders vs. Louisville City FC – June 24, 7 p.m. ET, FNB Field
Bethlehem Steel FC vs. Richmond Kickers – July 1, 5 p.m. ET, Goodman Stadium