Memphis, Tenn. – Memphis 901 FC’s quest for the No. 1 spot in the Eastern Conference continues on Saturday night as they travel to sunshine state to face Miami FC at Riccardo Silva Stadium at 6 p.m. CT.
Memphis moved within two points of the top spot after defeating rival Louisville City FC 2-1 in dramatic fashion thanks to a stoppage time winner from defender Graham Smith, who earned Team of the Week honors.
Memphis moved to 19-7-4 on the season with the victory with a game in hand, and look to run the table to solidify the No. 1 one seed in the Eastern Conference and a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Miami sits at No. 7 in the east with 49 points and three matches to play. Miami has secured their playoff berth with a seven-match unbeaten streak and are making a push for a higher seeding as they head into the postseason.
With two consecutive draws to Atlanta United 2 and Monterey Bay FC in their most recent showings, Miami is looking for a win to revitalize their offense as the regular season comes to a close.
Memphis will look to split the season series after they suffered a 2-1loss to Miami FC in their first meeting on April 30 at AutoZone Park. Phillip Goodrum, Laurent Kissiedou and Rece Buckmaster will be unavailable for selection as the three starters serve one-game discipline suspensions.
“We’re in a really good spot but we have four matches. We have to go to Miami. They’re flying and they’re one of the most well-coached teams in the league. They’re very very structured. We’ll push on and try to go again for three points but we’ve got four more matches to improve.” – Ben Pirmann
History in the Making...
Memphis 901 FC has already made its mark on this historic season, surpassing the club record for points in a season (63), wins (19) and goals scored (60). Now, after securing their second consecutive playoff appearance, the Beale St. Boys are pushing to make more history with a playoff run. 901 FC moved within two points of the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings with their 2-1 comeback victory over Louisville City FC on Friday. They’ll have four regular season games to jump to No. 1 in the conference and earn the first-round bye.
Memphis 901 FC have suffered only two losses on the road this season and are unbeaten in their last seven away matches. The club boasts the second best goal differential (+14) while leading the league with only 10 goals conceded all season away from AutoZone Park.
The Race for the Golden Boot…
Phillip Goodrum has been the jet fuel as the man up top for one of the most dangerous attacking teams in the league. The forward has netted 19 goals this season, currently sitting in second in the USL Championship and has been named Player of the Week twice this season. Memphis is unbeaten in 14 of the 15 matches Goodrum found the back of the net, including his first career hat trick in a 4-0 victory over atlanta united 2.
Goals Scored Leaderboard:
1 – Milan Iloski – 21
2 – Phillip Goodrum – 19
3 – Óttar Magnús Karlsson – 17
T4 – Leo Fernandes – 16
T4 – Hadji Barry – 16
Memphis 901 FC boasts one of the league’s most dynamic duos in the midfield with Aaron Molloy and Jeremy Kelly. Molloy has made his hay as the squad’s primary kicktaker, leading the USL with 10 assists. Kelly has been at the center of the 901 FC attack since moving from the back line this season, currently tied for fourth most assists in the USL with nine. Kelly was tabbed as the USL Championship Player of the Month in May after a stretch of three goals and three assists in four victories for 901 FC.
T1 – Aaron Molloy – 10
T1 – Antoine Hoppenot – 10
T1 – Kenardo Forbes – 10
T4 – Jeremy Kelly – 9
T4 – Cameron Lindley – 9
T4 – Hadji Barry – 9
Set Piece Superstar…
Aaron Molloy has made his name as one of the most dangerous legs from the set piece in the USL Championship. Seven of the midfielder’s 10 assists this season have come off of the set piece, but not before scoring his first goal of the season on a free kick strike from 20 yards out against Oakland Roots on March 19. Molloy currently sits fifth in chances created with 69 this season and first in the league standings with his 10 assists.