Memphis, Tenn. – Memphis 901 FC will look for their first points of the season in their road matchup against Miami FC on Saturday, April 1 at Riccardo Silva Stadium.
Last time out, Miami used a 23rd minute goal from Murphy to take the lead on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, but couldn’t close the match out after conceding a goal in the 85th minute for their second draw of the season.
Memphis suffered a 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh at AutoZone Park in their last match with a goal from Bruno Lapa, who has accounted for goals in both matches he’s worn a Memphis 901 FC crest.
Saturday’s match will feature two of the strongest strikers in the league in Phillip Goodrum and Kyle Murphy. Goodrum looks to open his 2023 scoring after breaking Murphy’s franchise record with 22 goals in the 2022 season.
Returning from the injury report for Memphis will be defender Rece Buckmaster and midfielder Sebastian Velasquez. Buckmaster will look to bolster the back line after a 4,000-plus minute season in 2022 while Velasquez will be available for selection for the first time with the club looking to make his 100th appearance in the USL Championship.
Kickoff for the match is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT. Fans can watch on ESPN+ and WMC Bounce 5.2 locally.
“I think we’re preparing for a Miami team that’s played a couple of different shapes this year. Do they go with the five that was fairly successful at Pittsburgh or do they go back to the four that they’ve done at home. The team that can adapt to the other and control themselves the best is going to come out on top.” – Stephen Glass
“It’s really important that you respect both sides of any opponent and Miami is no different. They’re obvious strength is defensively, but they’ve got pretty good players on the top end of the pitch as well.It’s not something you can discard. They can be a real threat on the top end.” – Stephen Glass
“It’s been a very good week of training. It’s been very exciting. I think the team camaraderie is very exciting right now. I’m happy to be back with the guys as well. Memphis hasn’t really seen me play so I’m excited to put that on the table as well. I think mentally we’re ready to go and get three points.” – Sebastian Velasquez
Saturday’s match will feature the most feared strikers of Memphis 901 FC’s past and present as Kyle Murphy and Phillip Goodrum face off at the top of the formation for their respective squads. Goodrum burst onto the scene with a franchise record 22 goals in 2022, besting Murphy’s 21 goals in the 2021 season before moving to Miami.
901 FC signed star midfielder Bruno Lapa to add to their deep attack in the offseason and it’s paid off through 180 minutes. In two matches donning the Memphis badge, Lapa has already had a hand in two goals assisting Laurent Kissiedou and scoring his own against Pittsburgh in the first 10 minutes of the match.
“He’s a leader through example,” Head Coach Stephen Glass said. “He came in and realized the work rate that it’s going to take to play on this team. He’s got his head around it really quick. To see him score a goal and produce an assist already, he’s already doing the things that we want and there’s plenty more to come.”
Back in Action
Defender Rece Buckmaster and midfielder Sebastian Velasquez are available for selection for the first time this season after appearing on the injury report in the first two matches. Buckmaster was a key piece of the back line in 2022, starting all 36 of Memphis’ 37 matches and only being subbed out once. Velasquez was added to the roster just before the season and looks to make an impact in the extended absence of captain Leston Paul in the midfield.
Memphis 901 FC made a splash with the signing of former USMNT and MLS goalkeeper last week. The veteran keeper will be available to begin the next stage of his 14-year professional career with a start between the pipes vs. Miami.
“I think Bill will add huge personality to the group,” Glass said. “He’ll add an ability to the group that’s unmatched in the division as a guy that’s been MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. The younger ones have got the aspiration and we’re lucky to have someone that’s actually done it.”