Carson Vom Steeg Eager for Return from Injury Against Former Club
A 10 a.m. CT mid-week kickoff is an unusual setting for any USL Championship team, but one 901 FC player will have a few reasons to get up for this Wednesday matinee matchup.
Memphis defender Carson Vom Steeg will have a chance to step back into the lineup from a six-week injury absence in familiar territory as he returns to his former club at Loudoun United.
“It’s something I’d been thinking about since I got injured,” Vom Steeg said. “When I found out I had the meniscus injury that could usually take around six weeks, it’s definitely a game I had circled. I’m ready to go on Wednesday and looking forward to playing against old friends and teammates.”
Vom Steeg started in 9 of his 15 appearances for the Beale Street Boys and established himself as a strong presence on the Memphis backline before going down in Louisville on June 11.
Before the setback, Carson played a key role in the back line next to Graham Smith during the franchise-record 12-match unbeaten streak when Memphis boasted the best goal differential in the league. Vom Steeg will look to help right the ship on the struggling 901 FC defense with Smith out of the lineup serving a one-game red card suspension.
“It’s a lot of motivation to get going everyday in the rehab room,” the twenty-four year old said. “I wanted to able to come back and do anything I can to get three points and start climbing the table again.
“Every season has ups and downs and right now we’re going through a little bit of a rough spot but you saw what we were capable of early on this year. Hopefully that starts on Wednesday and we can get back rolling again.”
Containing the Loudoun attack on Wednesday morning will depend on silencing their top scoring threat Zach Ryan, a familiar face for Vom Steeg. The two were freshman teammates at Stanford and have played with and against each other at various stops leading up to Wednesday’s match.
“I know Zach probably better than any other striker in the league,” Vom Steeg said. “If you let Zach have just a yard of space, he’s not afraid to shoot. His goal-scoring record shows that. He’s clinical. You have to make sure you’re tight on him and you know where he is at all times. It’ll be a fun one.”
As for the early start time, Vom Steeg is eager to get out to the pitch to show out in front of familiar faces and says it should be a quick adjustment once the opening whistle blows.
“It’s really strange. You have a pregame meal at 8 a.m., which is something I don’t think anyone is used to on the professional level,” he said. “I haven’t played a game this early since back at the academy days and it will be a strange feeling, but at the end of the day a game is a game and once you lock into that zone, it doesn’t matter what time the game is. You’re going out there and you’re doing the same job.”
The Beale Street Boys look to grab three points in the midweek matinee as a part of their three-match week on the road. Fans can watch the match on ESPN+ and WMC Bounce 5.2.
The Beale Street Boys take on Loudoun during a stretch of six of 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 two losses in nine matches away from AutoZone Park this season.
Memphis stands toward the top of the league with their dangerous offensive attack scoring 37 goals in 20 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 – 2.00
- Memphis – 1.85
- San Diego – 1.80
Instant Impact for Rodrigo
The Brazilian international has contributed to scores in his last three games with two goal and one assist and leads the club with eight 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.
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.
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 and leads the club with five assist after a two assist outing in Pittsburgh. Da Costa is tied for fourth in the league in chances as Memphis stands toward the top in almost every offensive team metric.
Chances Created Leaderboard:
- Aaron Molloy – 51
- Charlie Dennis – 46
- Taylor Davila – 45
- Rodrigo da Costa – 39
- Panos Armenakas – 39
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 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.