Match Preview: Bethlehem Steel FC Hosts Swope Park Rangers on Sunday
CHESTER, Pa. - Bethlehem Steel FC (6-13-5, 13th place in East) comes off the bye week and hosts 2019 USL Championship Eastern Conference side Swope Park Rangers (3-14-6, 18th place in East) at Talen Energy Stadium this Sunday at 6:00 p.m. ET. The match is a crucial one for the Steel, as the club needs points to stay in the 2019 USL Cup playoff race and they'll need players step up while Faris serves his red card suspension.
It was a wild match at Talen Energy Stadium last weekend as the Steel hosted expansion side Birmingham Legion FC. The 3-2 final favored the Legion as both teams finished with nine men. Despite Birmingham grabbing the late goal to win in the 76th minute, the Steel saw some positives from the match, including their attack getting things going again with two goals. This time out, Brendan Burke's club will look to combine that attacking momentum with increased defensive focus.
The last time Steel and Swope Park met was a wild 4-3 win for the Steel at Children's Mercy Park, with Philadelphia Union's Sergio Santos notching the game-winner in the third minute of stoppage time. Steel FC will be without Santos this time around since, along with Faris, he received a red card last weekend. Although Swope Park is in a rough run of form right now, 0-5-0 in their last five matches, and will be missing a few key pieces of their own (Head Coach Paulo Nagamura and midfielder Alexsander Andrade), they can be bolstered at any time by reinforcements from the Sporting Kansas City first team. The Rangers' style is more wide open and technical than the teams the Steel have played in the last few weeks, so this one looks to be an exciting affair with a lot of space on the field for both sides to operate.
The Boys in Blue host Swope Park Rangers at Talen Energy Stadium on Sunday, September 1 at 6:00 p.m. ET. Tickets are available here, with the match set to be broadcast on ESPN+.
2019 USL Championship Regular Season
Date: September 1, 2019
Kickoff: 6:00 p.m. ET
Location: Talen Energy Stadium, Chester, Pa.
Referee: Eric Tattersall
Assistant Referees: Tom Felice; Brian Marshall
Fourth Official: Joshua Encarnacion
Bethlehem Steel FC: 6-13-5, 13th place
Swope Park Rangers: 3-14-6, 18th place
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