Match Preview: Legion FC at Bethlehem Steel FC - Sunday, August 25
Birmingham Legion FC v. Bethlehem Steel FC
Saturday, August 25 - 5:00PM CT Kickoff - Talen Energy Stadium, Chester, PA
Watch - My68, ESPN+
Legion FC looks to extend its league-leading 555-minute shutout streak and continue to carry momentum from its six-game unbeaten streak into a rematch with Bethlehem.
Head Coach Tom Soehn said, "You don't always know who you get [with BST]. I watched a bit of our game [March 10th], but both teams have changed so much you have to look at who they are now and who they might have, because you don't know. Most importantly...it's about us. Making sure we know who we are and what we bring."
Bethlehem Steel FC currently sit in 13th place in the standings. The team has only won twice at home all year, and not since June 15 vs. Saint Louis FC.
Steel FC has struggled offensively this inaugural season, having scored 30 goals, which is bottom half in the USL, on the least shots in the league (222). The team has also given up the eighth most goals at 44. James Chambers is the focal point in the side, and is ninth in the USL in passes, while Zach Zandi leads in assists (5) and chances created (20) and Faris is tops in goals (6) and shots (31).
When asked about the shutout streak the team is on, midfielder Daniel Johnson said, "I don't want to jinx it at all, but we've been solid. And what we do give up comes from us, mistakes on our side. Away - we've been tested before, especially going to Tampa and getting a really good win, going to Ottawa and getting a really good draw, so this will be a tough little stint here with three games in a row on the road. But we want to come with the mindset that nothing changes. If we can do that, go away and dictate the game like we have been, then I could see these shutouts, this run, continuing."
"I think it's a testament to the culture that we've committed to creating," said Johnson. "Through the first half of the season, we had to focus on the field and put time and effort into what Legion FC looked like in our first year off of it, and now starting the second half, having a comfortable locker room, knowing what we want our identity to be and what the culture around the club should be, we can focus solely on playing and building relationships with each other on the field and that's just been really good and consistent, regardless of personnel. We know the way we want to play, we know what the coaches are expecting of us, so you can plug people in, you can take people out, and everyone that's stepped in has been brilliant."
#9 Chandler Hoffman ruptured his PCL on July 13 and is out the remainder of the season. #16 Daigo Kobayashi (knee) and #27 Eddie Opoku are also out, per the UAB Medicine injury report.
The only prior meeting between these two teams, in Birmingham, ended as 2-0 win for the visitors on the back of two second half goals from Kasper Przybylko and Zandi.
Follow @bhmlegion on Twitter for live game updates, and watch live on My68 and ESPN+.
The second leg of this three-game road trip kicks off in the nation's capital against Loudoun United on Wednesday Sunday, August 28. The game will air live on ESPN+ at 6:30PM CT.
The next Legion FC home game takes place on Friday, September 13 at BBVA Field versus Saint Louis FC at 7:00PM. Tickets are available at bhmlegion.com/tickets or by calling the Legion FC Ticket Office at 205-600-4635.
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