Memphis 901 FC returns to AutoZone Park this Saturday to welcome Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in an interconference.
Memphis will look to continue their success in interconference play, carrying a nine-match unbeaten streak against Western Conference clubs into the match. The Beale St. Boys last fell to a Western Conference team on October 10, 2021.
901 FC’s seven-match unbeaten streak in 2023 ended on Wednesday night in a 3-0 loss to Birmingham Legion FC in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 32. The loss was the club’s first defeat since March 18.
The Switchbacks sit at fourth in the Western Conference through nine games with a 5-3-1 regular season record. Colorado will look to get back in the win column after dropping a tight match 3-2 to El Paso Locomotive FC last Friday
Returning to AutoZone Park to face his former teammates will be former 901 FC defender Patrick Seagrist. Seagrist patrolled the back line in Memphis for 36 appearances in 2022 before moving to the Switchbacks in the offseason.
Memphis defeated Colorado 2-0 last season as Aaron Molloy burst onto the scene with a goal and an assist. Phillip Goodrum scored the second goal off of a Molloy set piece.
Saturday’s match is Wynne Soccer Benefit Night at AutoZone Park, with a portion of box office sales going toward a relief fund for the tornado victims of Wynne High School.
Fans can watch the match on ESPN+ and WMC Bounce 5.2 with kickoff set for 7 p.m. CT.
“The biggest part is you’ve got to get back out there Saturday. Anytime you lose, you want another game to come as quickly as it can. We’re fortunate it’s at home and hopefully there’s a big crowd there. We’ve had a good record here, unbeaten in five league matches, which is difficult to do. We get the opportunity to start extending that number in the league.”
“The boys are confident. I think you see it in our play. The boys know we’re five unbeaten in the league and they want to protect that and continue to extend that number.” – Stephen Glass
“You want to get back out there as soon as possible. We’ve got a game on Saturday against a really good, tough opponent. We’re excited to put things right. We want to go put three points on the board and start climbing the table.” – Aaron Molloy
“You can’t get low when you lose a game and you can’t go too high when you go seven unbeaten. We tried to stay constant, change a few things here and there. Since day one, practice is competitive, guys are working hard. We have a little bit of continuity right now and we hope to keep that going this weekend.” Jeremy Kelly
Settling the West
Memphis 901 FC is unbeaten in their last nine matches against Western Conference clubs with the streak going back to October 10, 2021. 901 FC carried a 6-0-2 record in interconference play in 2022 on its way to the best regular season in club history. 901 FC was the only club in the USL Championship to post an undefeated record in interconference play.
The Ultimate Wingman
Winger Luiz Fernando has contributed to goals in each of the club’s last five matches across the USL Championship and U.S. Open Cup with two goals and three assists. Fernando scored the equalizer in Saturday’s draw vs. Louisville and added game-winning assists vs. Atlanta and Hartford.
The Brazilian winger scored four goals and six assists in 30 appearances in 2022.
Chances on Chances on Chances
Aaron Molloy leads the USL Championship in chances created and crosses, serving as the primary kick taker and captain on the pitch in the absence of Leston Paul due to injury. The Irish international has played every minute of action for 901 FC in 2023.
Molloy led the team with a franchise-record 10 assists last season on his way to finishing runner–up in USL Championship MVP voting.
Chances Created Leaderboard:
- Aaron Molloy – 28
- Rodrigo da Costa – 24
- Charlie Dennis – 23
The Kid is Cooking
Nighte Pickering has proven himself to be a dangerous presence near opposition final thirds. Serving primarily as a reserve deployed as a closer in the second half, the 18-year-old striker has put away two goals in just seven appearances. Pickering most recently scored the game winning goal over Atlanta United in extra time.
Pickering scored two goals in seven appearances in 2022, including a bicycle kick goal on debut, before being called up to the U.S. U-19 Youth National Team in the offseason.
On the Come Up
After two losses at home to start the season, Memphis 901 FC is undefeated in their last five USL Championship matches with a +3 goal differential. Memphis will look for their first victory at AutoZone Park this season in Saturday’s match.
Memphis leads the USL Championship in shots per 90 minutes and are top-five in expected goals per 90 and final third entries.
Shots per 90 Leaderboard:
- Memphis – 15.14
- Sacramento – 14.25
- San Antonio – 13.25
Former USMNT and MLS goalkeeper Bill Hamid notched his second clean sheet of the season on Saturday vs. Hartford with four saves on four shots faced. Hamid holds a 76.5% save rate with 13 saves on 17 shots faced in the USL Championship this season.
“Bill’s a veteran and a good teammate. Clearly, he’s a good shot stopper so I think it gives us an extra level of confidence and trust that we have a guy on our team who’s been there and done that. There’s got to be some level of fearlessness and I think he’ll have that and It’s on the boys to go in and see what we’re made of.” – Phillip Goodrum