Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (5-2-7) hosts Bethlehem Steel FC (5-8-4) at 7 p.m. this Thursday at Highmark Stadium. The Black and Gold have put together three straight victories, and are coming off of a 4-1 win over Birmingham Legion FC. Bethlehem grabbed a win in its last time out, with a 3-0 result over Hartford Athletic.
The Season So Far
It’s been a year of ups and downs for Bethlehem Steel FC thus far. Though the club has managed five victories, it has struggled to find any sort of consistency during the 2019 slate. A 2-6-3 record on home turf has hindered the team’s ability to make any real progress on the Eastern Conference leaderboard.
However, the cross-state rival has found success on the road with a 3-2-1 away record.
With 19 total points, Bethlehem is currently ranked 11th in the conference and one point out of a playoff spot.
Players to Watch
19-year-old striker Faris Pemi Moumbagna leads the club in scoring with five goals in 13 appearances. Moumbagna also holds the team high in shots, having fired 26 so far this season.
Carlos Miguel Coronel has logged the majority of minutes in net for Bethlehem. Carlos has stopped 36 of 53 shots that he’s faced this season. Goalkeepers Matt Freese and Tomás Romero have also seen time in net, with each recording one clean sheet in limited action.
Strength: Burying Opportunities
While Steel FC ranks in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference in shots, it has the second-highest conversion rate (19 percent). It’s been tough for the club to create chances at points throughout the year, but when an opportunity arises, there’s a good chance it could find the back of the net.
Weakness: Goals Conceded
Heading into Thursday's match, the opposition has struck 33 times against Bethlehem Steel FC. Only two teams in the Eastern Conference have allowed a higher number of goals. Steel FC’s defense has been suspect at times season, but has seen a recent upward trend, allowing just three goals in the last three games.