Memphis 901 FC kicks off their stretch of six away matches in the next seven with a tough matchup against the Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC on Saturday, July 29.
Pittsburgh is coming off of two consecutive 3-1 losses, falling to Charleston Battery on the road and Indy Eleven for their first home loss of the season. The Riverhounds will look to defend Highmark Stadium against a 901 FC side with only one loss away from home this season.
Pittsburgh used an Albert Dikwa hat trick to topple 901 FC in two clubs’ first meeting this season on March 18. Midfielder Bruno Lapa scored his first goal for Memphis in the week two match, but 901 FC will be without the Brazilian as well as another vital midfielder in Jeremy Kelly with both serve one-match red card suspensions.
Memphis fell 4-3 to Orange County SC in a physical match with 13 total cards shown. The Beale St. Boys will look for their first win since June 24 in the unfriendly confines of Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, a grounds the club has never left victorious.
Despite only one victory in their last six matches, Memphis sits at No. 4 with games in hand over the top three teams in the Eastern Conference and one of the most fearsome attacks in the USL Championship.
Three points in Steel City would give Memphis a strong opportunity to rise in the table as they jockey for playoff seeding in the final 15 matches of the season.
Fans can watch the 6 p.m. CT match on ESPN+ and WMC Bounce 5.2 locally. The match will also be broadcast live on SiriusXM FC.
“We’re going in with the mindset that we do a home game. We don’t go in and try to play second best, we try and dictate the game. Its never easy, especially when you go against top teams. We’ve felt it already, but we’ve shown we can handle ourselves on the road, make chances and be difficult to beat. The mindset is the same as it has been.” – Stephen Glass
“When you’re playing against a good team that’s not been doing as well as it should, it’s going to turn at some point. We’ve done it all year. We’ve not been hitting on both ends like we should, and at some point that’s coming around as well. It’s probably a good game to look forward to for both sets of fans.” – Stephen Glass
“Obviously you’d rather have a full roster of players to pick from, but the guys that have not played regularly have shown when they come onto games that they’re well capable. We built a good group in the winter and we’ve seen that be utilized as well. It will get a chance to show itself. Players will get opportunities to play and if they take them, they’ll get a chance to stay in the 11. The hunger drives the group.” – Stephen Glass
“We knew this was coming up. We’re just taking it one game at a time and really excited for the opportunity to get three points against a tough opponent. We had a really good week of training so we can’t wait to get out there. Pittsburgh are always a well organized team and hard to play against. We know we have good enough attackers on our team to give any defense in this league a headache.” – Aaron Molloy
The Beale Street Boys enter a stretch of six of their next seven matches away from home from July 29 to September 2. Memphis has been one of the top clubs on the road in the USL Championship with only one loss in eight matches away from AutoZone Park this season.
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 – 1.85
- Memphis – 1.84
- San Diego – 1.79
Spreading the Wealth
Memphis hasn’t missed a step even with injuries to key players this season. 901 FC has had 13 different players find the back of the net and 11 assist others in scores this year.
The Brazilian international leads Memphis 901 FC with seven goals to go with three assists this season.
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.
Scores for the Newcomer
Former top league midfielder Emerson Hyndman has made his impact early in the midfield with three goals in only five starts 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 – 49
- Taylor Davila – 44
- Charlie Dennis – 43
- Rodrigo da Costa – 39
- Jack Gurr – 38
The Kid is Cooking
Nighte Pickering has proven himself to be a dangerous presence for opposition goalkeepers in 2023. The 18-year-old striker has tallied four goals and leads the team with four assists. Pickering scored the game-winning goal in 901 FC’s U.S. Open Cup victory over Atlanta United, the first win over an MLS club in franchise history.
Pickering scored two goals in seven appearances last season, including an ESPN SportsCenter Top-10 bicycle kick goal on debut, and was called up to the U.S. U-19 Youth National Team in the offseason.