Disappointing 2017 USL Season Comes To An End For Saint Louis FC This Weekend Against Bethlehem Steel FC
The 2017 season has not gone to plan for Saint Louis FC. It officially comes to an end this Sunday when STLFC takes on Bethlehem Steel FC in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Kickoff is set for 2 pm Central Sunday and the match can be streamed on YouTube. Scroll down for a preview of Sunday’s match, the streaming link to watch the match and more.
The 2017 season started out full of hope and promise for Saint Louis FC and its fans. But, like I think the Three Wise Men from The Bible said, “it’s the hope that kills ya.”
A new Hall of Fame coach in Predag “Preki” Radosavjlevic and almost an entirely new squad, full of guys that have lifted the USL championship trophy, had everyone pumped. A 0-0 draw at Louisville was followed by three consecutive wins.
Then Djiby Fall happened. The FC Cincinnati striker scored four times as STLFC got walloped in Cincinnati 4-0 on April 15. A terrible USL broadcast on KPLR 11 back in St. Louis didn’t help either.
The next weekend, with Cincinnati playing Louisville City, Fall appeared to bite an opposing player (yep. you read that right) after receiving a red card. He was suspended for five games for the act.
Would things have been different for Saint Louis FC if Fall had done that before they visited Nippert Stadium instead of right after? Who knows.
After that disaster in Cincinnati, STLFC won just once in its next ten USL matches.
As recently as last month, the team was still in the hunt for a playoff spot. As the calendar page turned to October, the book on the team’s 2017 playoff chances closed.
A 2-0 loss at Harrisburg City was followed by a 1-0 loss at home to Richmond last weekend in the home finale.
Saint Louis FC will try to get one final 2017 win this weekend.
Volesky Holds Team Scoring Lead Over Rudolph Heading Into Sunday
Christian Volesky leads Saint Louis FC in scoring this season with eight goals. Louligan player of the year Seth Rudolph is right on his heels with seven goals.
Ten different players have scored for Saint Louis FC this season.
STLFC heads into the final match having scored 34 goals on the season. That total ranks 22nd in the 30-team league. The Western Conference’s Reno 1868 FC holds the USL lead, by a healthy margin, with 73 goals this season.
Reno’s Dane Kelly will likely win the USL’s Golden Boot award this season as the top goal-scorer in the league. The 26-year old Jamaican has 18 goals heading into Reno’s final match this weekend against Sacramento.
Kelly is the all-time leading scorer in the USL with 57 goals in his career. The striker scored 31 goals in 56 appearances over three seasons for the Charleston Battery. He played last season for the Swope Park Rangers, scoring 8 goals in 24 appearances.
STLFC ranks near the top of the USL in fouls conceded. Only three clubs have committed more that Saint Louis’s 460 this season, an average of 14.8 per match.
Bethlehem Steel Clinch Playoff Spot With Orlando City B Loss
Bethlehem Steel FC will be heading to the USL playoffs this season. Orlando City B’s loss to Tampa Bay last night clinched a playoff spot for Bethlehem.
Bethlehem currently sits in seventh place in the USL East, tied with Cincinnati on points, but holding the advantage on the wins tie-breaker. Holding on to that seventh spot would mean a first-round matchup with Tampa Bay or Charleston. Finishing in eighth would mean a trip to the minor league baseball stadium in Louisville.
Cincinnati concludes its season tomorrow in Toronto.
Bethlehem is led in scoring by Cory Burke with nine goals on the season and Seku Conneh with ten.
24-year old Santi Moar has come on strong as of late for Brendan Burke’s club. The forward scored twice within three minutes and added an assist on a Conneh goal in a 4-2 win over Toronto earlier this month.
Bethlehem traveled to St. Louis back in June and left Toyota Stadium with a 2-1 win. Saint Louis got on the board early with a Bethlehem own goal three minutes into the match. Conneh would bring the teams even early on the second half and then pick up an assist on James Chambers’ game-winner in the 74th minute.
Seku Conneh picked up a yellow card caution in his club’s match earlier this week and will be forced to sit out Sunday’s match due to accumulation.
Stream Sunday’s Match Between Saint Louis FC & Bethlehem Steel FC Or Join The Louligans At ITap
Bethlehem Steel FC, the official USL affiliate of Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union, calls Goodman Stadium on the campus of Lehigh University home.
The USL club has averaged 3,055 fans per match this season at the 16,000-seat stadium.
College students can attend a Bethlehem Steel FC match and sit on the lawn for just $5. Single-match tickets range from $12 in The Forge supporters’ section to $18 for a fancy chairback.
The St. Louligans supporters group will hold the final watch party of 2017 on Sunday afternoon at International Tap House in Solulard. ITap will be donating Kegs For A Cause proceeds to the Louligans’ Charity Du Jour endeavors and the group will also be raffling off a few items to raise money for this week’s charity, New Dimensions Soccer.
Want to be one of the cool kids Sunday? Listen to the latest episode of the This Is Silly! podcast before heading to iTap.
Can’t make it to Soulard? You can also watch the match at Hattrick’s Irish Sports Pub in O’Fallon or use the streaming link below to watch it at home or on your phone while you are stuck elsewhere.
Bethlehem Steel FC vs Saint Louis FC #BSTvSTL
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