After capturing seven points in seven days with two victories last week, including a toppling of the top team in the Eastern Conference, Memphis 901 FC sets their sights on conquering the west, starting with a trip to face Phoenix Rising FC.
Memphis fights to extend their unbeaten streak to 13 in the USL Championship Game of the Week televised nationally on ESPN 2 and broadcast on Sirius XM.
The Beale St. Boys look to protect their unblemished record on the road as they’ve come out victorious in four of their five matches away from AutoZone Park this season with a league-best +8 goal differential.
Memphis sits at No. 2 in the Eastern Conference with an 8-2-4 record and +14 goal differential, the best in the division and second best in the league behind only Sacramento.
Rece Buckmaster and company will look to silence Manuel Arteaga and Phoenix Rising, who sit at No. 8 in the Western Conference with one victory in their last five matches. Arteaga shares the league lead with nine goals on 32 shots this season.
Buckmaster made his 100th USL regular season appearance in Saturday’s match and leads a Memphis back line that has conceded only 10 goals in their 12-match unbeaten streak.
901 FC will be without Head Coach Stephen Glass with a one-game suspension after a red card in the club’s victory over Charleston. Assistant Coaches Mark Spalding and Caleb Patterson-Sewell will fill in on the sideline.
“Morale is high. The culture here we’ve built in training, everyone is fighting for a spot everyday. It’s always a next guy up opportunity and if there’s an opportunity, guys are going to come in to help the team win. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a great group of guys. Everyone’s pushing each other and wants the best for the next man so we’re fighting for one another and doing our best to win. We’re taking each game as it comes.” – Drew Romig
“With this group of guys that we have with the coaching staff and everybody, I think we can push those limits even more to do better than we did last year. We want to go to the Eastern Conference Final, win that and go to the USL Championship Final. That’s everyone’s goal here and everyone is locked in on doing that.” – Rece Buckmaster
On the Come Up
After two losses at home to start the season, Memphis 901 FC is undefeated in their last 11 USL Championship matches with a +18 goal differential in that time span. The run is the longest unbeaten streak in club history.
Memphis is climbing up the Eastern Conference table at No. 2 with 28 points and at least two games in hand over each team in the Eastern Conference.
Versatile veteran Rodrigo da Costa joined Memphis 901 FC in a midseason acquisition, bringing his knack for scoring and distribution to one of the most dangerous attacking sides in the league.
The Brazilian international scored two goals with an assist last week and leads Memphis 901 FC with six goals to go with two assists this season.
Score One for the Newcomer
Former top league midfielder Emerson Hyndman was called into the starting lineup for the first time in the club’s 4-0 victory over Tulsa, delivering the highlight of the night with a perfect one-touch strike into the back of the net from 30 yards out.
The Dallas, Texas native brings National Team, Scottish Premiership and MLS experience to a talented Memphis roster after playing a starting role for Head Coach Stephen Glass with Atlanta United.
Chances on Chances on Chances
Memphis now has two of the top creators in the league in Aaron Molloy and Rodrigo da Costa. Molloy and da Costa rank in the top-5 in chances created as Memphis stands toward the top in almost every offensive team metric.
Chances Created Leaderboard:
- Charlie Dennis – 41
- Aaron Molloy – 40
- Jack Gurr – 36
- Rodrigo da Costa – 33
The Kid is Cooking
Nighte Pickering has proven himself to be a dangerous presence near opposition final thirds. The 18-year-old striker leads the club along with Luiz Fernando and Rodrigo da Costa with four goals to go with three assists in USL competition along with his game-winning goal in the U.S. Open Cup victory over Atlanta United.
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.
Memphis leads the USL Championship in goals scored, shots per 90 minutes and is the only club in the league to average over 2 goals per match. The high powered offense is top-5 in final third entries trails only Sacramento in goal differential.
Goals per match:
- Memphis – 2.14
- Sacramento – 1.81
- San Antonio – 1.75
The Beale St. Prodigy
At 15 years and 149 days old, local academy signing Calvin Harrison became the youngest player to ever appear for Memphis 901 FC in his professional debut last Wednesday.
The high school sophomore signed an academy contract with the club last week after scoring 25 goals in 16 games as a freshman at Hernando High School.
Spreading the Wealth
Memphis hasn’t missed a step even with injuries to key players this season. 901 FC has had 12 different players find the back of the net and 11 assist others in scores this year.
Rece the Reliable
Top defender Rece Buckmaster made his 100th USL Championship regular season appearance in Saturday’s match. Buckmaster has been a reliable piece on the backline during his time in Memphis, playing all but 99 possible minutes for 901 FC during the 2022 season.