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Gameday Report: July 29, Week 20

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 07/29/18, 7:01PM EDT

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Apodaca, Aaronson, Faris all strike for first time as Steel FC downs Atlanta


Photo courtesy Bethlehem Steel FC

THREE THINGS THAT MATTERED

1. After Thursday’s late letdown, Bethlehem Steel FC put in a comprehensive attacking display to take a 4-1 victory that pushed the side back into the middle of the playoff race in the Eastern Conference. Bethlehem recorded the first seven shots of the game, including Matt Mahoney’s opening goal in the 16th minute, and capitalized well on its chances in a game it would have felt it had to win.

2. Bethlehem got a trio of firsts in its victory as the trio of Aidan Apodaca, Faris and Brendan Aaronson all scored their first professional goals in the contest. The 17-year-old Aaronson and 18-year-old Faris also recorded their first assists to help their side to victory as both had a major impact in the attacking third. Aaronson finished with four key passes for the game and Faris three after coming on as a second-half substitute.

3. Atlanta was unable to replicate the performance that saw it defeat Steel FC earlier this month, but it did get a moment that both its fans and those of 2019 expansion side USL New Mexico will certainly have enjoyed from Devon Sandoval, whose spectacular bicycle kick gave the visitors a little bit of hope late in the first half. 

GAME REPORT

BETHLEHEM STEEL FC (4), ATL UTD 2 (1)

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Bethlehem Steel FC snapped a five-game winless streak as it swept to a 4-1 victory against ATL UTD 2 at Goodman Stadium. Steel FC took the lead in the 16th minute as Matt Mahoney powered home a header from eight yards off Chris Nanco’s corner kick from the right as the hosts capitalized on their early pressure. Bethlehem doubled its lead nine minutes before halftime as Aidan Apodaca scored his first professional goal off a tremendous cutback by Brendan Aaronson on the right, but Atlanta quickly hit back as Devon Sandoval put home a bicycle kick four minutes later to make it a one-goal game at the break. Bethlehem regained control of the game with two goals in two minutes inside the final 20 minutes, however, as recent addition Faris and Brendan Aaronson joined Aidan Apodaca in recording their first professional goals as Steel FC wrapped up a comfortable three points.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Brendan Aaronson, Bethlehem Steel FC
– Aaronson recorded both his first professional goal and assist, recorded four key passes and completed 37 of 44 passes overall in a sterling display.

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