Memphis 901 FC is back at AutoZone Park for another interconference matchup as they host Orange County SC on Saturday, July 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Memphis returns from their two-match tour of Northern California with two draws against Oakland Roots SC and Sacramento Republic FC. The Beale St. Boys found their footing with the 1-1 draw against Western Conference-leading Sacramento where they led until the 85th minute of the match.
Three points is the focus for the Beale Street Boys this Saturday against Orange County SC, who sit at No. 10 in the West with a 7-9-4 record. Memphis held their position in the No. 4 spot with their 8-4-6 record halfway through the season.
The first time the two clubs faced off was last season at Championship Soccer Stadium in a 1-1 draw featuring a goal from Jeremy Kelly to answer Brian Iloski.
Brian and his brother Milan Iloski come into AutoZone Park as Orange County look to grab another three points with their good form coming into the matchup. They’ve won four of their last five including victories over Tulsa, Detroit City and Loudoun.
Milan scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season in the Orange County’s last match. The Memphis backline will try to contain the forward that leads this year’s Orange County squad in scoring, assists, shots and chances created.
Fans can watch this interconference bout on ESPN+ and WMC Bounce 5.2 locally in Memphis.
Luiz is on Fire
Luiz Fernando will be honored for 150 USL Championship appearances before Saturday’s game. Approaching over 10,000 regular season minutes in his career, Fernando has played a key part in the club’s success in the first half of the season with four goals and three assists across all competitions.
Memphis stands toward the top of the league with their dangerous offensive attack scoring 32 goals in 18 matches. The Beale St. Boys rank in the top-five in goals per match, shots per match and final third entries.
Goals per match:
- San Antonio – 1.95
- San Diego – 1.79
- Memphis – 1.78
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.
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 leads Memphis 901 FC with six goals to go with three assists this season.
Scores for the Newcomer
Former top league midfielder Emerson Hyndman has made his impact early in the midfield with two goals in only 348 minutes on the pitch for the Beale Street Boys.
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 leads the league in chances created as the primary kick taker while da Costa is tied for fourth as Memphis stands toward the top in almost every offensive team metric.
Chances Created Leaderboard:
- Aaron Molloy – 48
- Charlie Dennis – 42
- Taylor Davila – 41
- Rodrigo da Costa – 39
- Jack Gurr – 36
The Kid is Cooking
Nighte Pickering has proven himself to be a dangerous presence near opposition final thirds. The 18-year-old striker has poured in four goals and leads the team with four 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.