BETHLEHEM, Penn. — Louisville City FC secured a point on the road in a scoreless draw against Bethlehem Steel FC on Sunday, improving to 4-1-2 (14 points) to remain atop the USL Eastern Conference table. Making his first start of 2016, goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh stood tall, making two saves to earn Modelo Man of the Match honors.
Despite the lack of scoring, the game was full of chances for both teams. LouCity, who leads the USL in goals scored with 13, had some great looks at goal in both halves. Coach James O’Connor’s side had 15 shots for the game, seven of which were on goal.
LouCity hit the post twice, courtesy of two midfielders. Andrew Lubahn struck the woodwork in the 55th minute with a screaming effort from the right side of the box before Mark-Anthony Kaye headed a ball into the left post. O’Connor said he was pleased with his team’s attack despite not scoring a goal.
“I thought we created a lot of opportunities and I thought we dominated the second half. We hit the post twice,” O’Connor said. “It’s really unfortunate to not win the game, but we need to be a little bit more clinical and take our chances when they arise.”
Although LouCity was unable to find the back of the net, they were able to keep a clean sheet. Although Bethlehem had only six shots, they threatened throughout the 90 minutes. LouCity’s back four of Kyle Smith, Tarek Morad, Sean Reynolds and Ben Newnam held up well, giving O’Connor’s side its first clean sheet since the first week of the season.
In addition to the back four, another man stepped up big time to help LouCity secure a clean sheet. Ranjitsingh, who started in place of goalkeeper Scott Goodwin, had two huge saves. O’Connor said he knew he could count on the Canadian to deliver a big game on Sunday.
“Greg was excellent. They put us under a lot of pressure,” O’Connor said. “Greg is someone who we’ve got tremendous belief in. He’s a fantastic prospect. We’re very pleased with how he played and he handled the occasion very well.”
LouCity will now travel to Toronto to take on Toronto FC II on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. | MATCH CENTER) for the second part of the Club’s road trip. O’Connor said his players will need to get some rest during the trip north of the border with another big game in mind.
“We need to make sure the players get some sleep,” O’Connor said. “We have a big day of travelling to Toronto but we need to make sure we do our due diligence on Toronto.”
LouCity’s next home game is a showdown with regional-rival Saint Louis FC on May 14 (7:30 p.m. | TICKETS).
Fans can stay up to date with all of Louisville City’s breaking news, roster updates and ticketing information by following the Club on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Season tickets are available for Louisville City’s historic second season via the Club’s official website.
Today’s match is the first between LouCIty and Bethlehem.
LouCity is currently riding a four-game unbeaten streak, taking ten points in the past four games.
Coach James O’Connor’s side is at the top of the table with 13 points.
LouCity striker Chandler Hoffman currently holds the USL lead in goals with seven for the season.
Bethlehem has seven points through five games in their first USL campaign.
Louisville City FC Match Report
Match: Bethlehem Steel FC vs. Louisville City FC
Date: May 1, 2016
Competition: United Soccer League
Venue: Goodman Stadium
Kickoff: 3:00 p.m. EST
Weather: 48 degrees; light rain
Key Defensive Stops and Saves
LOU: 18’ – Greg Ranjitsingh: In his first start of the 2016 season, Ranjitsingh came up huge early on, after a Steel through ball snuck past the LouCity back four. Ranjitsingh came off his line in a diving effort to deny Bethlehem an early goal.
LOU: 90’ – Greg Ranjitsingh: The keeper came up big again in the 90th minute after a softly struck Bethlehem shot lingered around the penalty area before Ranjitsingh picked it up and ended any chance of a Steel goal.
LOU: 13-Greg Ranjitsingh; 24-Kyle Smith, 15-Sean Reynolds, 6-Tarek Morad 2-Ben Newnam; 36-Paolo DelPiccolo, 4-Quinn (c), 7-Kadeem Dacres (46’ 12-Mark-Anthony Kaye), 11-Niall McCabe, 77-Andrew Lubahn (74’ 22-George Davis IV); 17-Chandler Hoffman (68’ 9-Cameron Lancaster)
Subs not used: 14-Ilija Ilic, 5-Conor Shanosky, 8-Guy Abend, Mason Stajduhar
BST: 27-JohnMcCarthy; 44-Ryan Richter (c), 23-Conceicao Anderson (79’ 34-Michael Daly), 48-Auston Trusty, 3-Taylor Washington; 42-Boluwatife Akinyode (77’ 45-James Chambers), 35-Derrick Jones; 20-Walter Restrepo, 22-Leo Fernandes (87’ 43-Jamie Luchini), 14-Eric Ayuk (71’ 19-Cole Missimo); 11-Fabian Herbers (62’ 36-Seku Conneh)
Subs not used: 32-Samir Badr, 37-Gabe Gissie
James O’Connor on earning a point: “It’s really unfortunate to not win the game, but we need to be a little bit more clinical and take our chances when they arise.”
O’Connor on his team’s attack despite not scoring a goal: “I thought we created a lot of opportunities and I thought we dominated the second half. We hit the post twice.”
O’Connor on LouCity keeper Greg Ranjitsingh: “Greg was excellent. They put us under a lot of pressure. Greg is someone who we’ve got tremendous belief in. He’s a fantastic prospect. We’re very pleased with how he played and he handled the occasion very well.”
O’Connor on more travel and needing to rest his players: “We need to make sure the players get some sleep. We have a big day of travelling to Toronto but we need to make sure we do our due diligence on Toronto.