Aiden McFadden Gets Settled in, Memphis Style
The minute you step in the Bluff City as a Beale Street Boy, you get the full Memphis treatment with the works.
Whether it’s following Jordan Speith down the 18th fairway at the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind or grabbing dinner with star midfielders Aaron Molloy and Jeremy Kelly, any doubts Aiden McFadden had on how he’d gel with the group flew away within a few days.
Memphis 901 FC’s newest defender arrived in the Bluff City on Monday via loan from Atlanta United as another puzzle piece for a club with sights on the USL Championship Final.
“They’re great dudes,” McFadden said. “I knew some guys that have played here with them before and they said I’d be in good hands in Memphis. It’s a good group.”
McFadden, who has 42 USL Championship and 11 MLS caps under his belt, says a welcome competition on the training ground has come along with camaraderie he’s felt off the pitch in his first week with 901 FC.
“The staff is great. There’s a lot of energy and a lot of character,” he said. “They’re good people. I think that’s the biggest thing. As far as the guys, it’s the same thing.
“Great group of guys and a lot of talent obviously. It’s actually been a challenging first couple of sessions and I don’t think I’ve shown up the best. That’s a testament to the level they bring everyday. It’s been a good start and I’m excited to keep going.”
The West Chester, Pennsylvania, native out of Notre Dame steps into a competition for minutes as the club battles for position in the Eastern Conference standings.
Sitting at No. 5 in the table, the Beale Street Boys look to use their Saturday match at San Diego Loyal SC as a springboard as they enter the final stretch of the regular season.
“I’m happy to do whatever Glassy sees best. I’ve got some experience playing a multitude of positions so whatever coach wants me to do is what I’m going to do,” McFadden said. “I’m excited to be here and I think I’ve walked a path that’s unique to most, but that’s probably something everyone can say at this point. I just want to gel with the group and see where it can take us the rest of the season.”
Saturday’s match features two of the top scoring clubs in the USL Championship in Memphis and San Diego. Both teams have scored 39 goals through 22 matches this season.
Memphis stands toward the top of the league with their dangerous offensive attack scoring 39 goals in 22 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 – 1.77
- San Diego – 1.77
The Beale Street Boys finish their longest road stretch of the season at San Diego Loyal SC on Saturday night. Memphis has been one of the top clubs on the road in the USL Championship with only two losses in 11 matches away from AutoZone Park this season.
Spreading the Wealth
Memphis hasn’t missed a step even with injuries to key players this season. 901 FC has had 14 different players find the back of the net and 11 assist others in scores this year.
The Brazilian international has contributed to three scores in his last five games with two goals and one assist and leads Memphis 901 FC 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.
Scores for the Newcomer
Former top league midfielder Emerson Hyndman has made his impact early in the midfield with three goals in only six 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 six assists after a two-assist outing in Pittsburgh. Da Costa is sixth in the league in chances as Memphis stands toward the top in almost every offensive team metric.
Chances Created Leaderboard:
- Aaron Molloy – 57
- Charlie Dennis – 47
- Taylor Davila – 47
- Panos Armenakas – 42
- Jack Gurr – 40
- 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.