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MATCH PREVIEW: Memphis 901 FC vs. Birmingham Legion FC

By Memphis 901 FC, 07/14/20, 5:00PM CDT

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Following a three-month league suspension of play due to COVID-19, Memphis 901 FC returns to the pitch on Wednesday, July 15, against Birmingham Legion FC at 7 p.m.

901 FC (0-1-0) meets Birmingham for the first of four matchups this season.

Coming off a 4-2 loss to Indy Eleven, 901 FC looks for their first win of the season. In that match back in March, 901 FC got off to a hot start scoring twice, a left-footed goal from Brandon Allen and a header off a corner kick by Zack Carroll, in the first half.

During the suspension of play 901 FC made two roster additions in Cal Jennings and Rece Buckmaster.

Cal Jennings, drafted by FC Dallas as the 17th overall pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, brings speed and creativity to the 901 FC Attack.  He made 64 appearances, scored 46 goals and collected 16 assists during his collegiate career at the University of Central Florida.

Buckmaster joins 901 FC from New York Red Bulls. Last season, he made seven starts and played 660 minutes with the first team, including a start in the 2019 MLS Cup Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Philadelphia. In 2019 he also made 19 appearances and played 1,475 minutes for Redbulls II.

Birmingham, who has yet to play a match in 2020, looks at new players to make an impact on the pitch. Neco Brett, who signed with Birmingham in December, lead Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC with 17 goals in 2019. While Bolu Akinyode, who came to Birmingham from Nashville SC, will bring a strong presence in the midfield.  

The new format, designed to limit team travel, separates the league into eight regionalized groups. Each team will play a total of 16 matches, including any matches played before the suspension of play on March 12, in the span of 13 weeks.

As group G is a four-team group, 901 FC will play each of the other three teams, Birmingham, Charlotte Independence and North Carolina FC, four times, making these local rivalry matches more important than ever. 901 FC will also play three matches against three regional opponents outside of Group G, Atlanta United 2, Louisville City FC and Saint Louis FC.

The top two teams from each group in the regular season will advance to the 2020 USL Championship Playoffs, producing a field of 16 teams overall in a regionalized single-elimination bracket.

Wednesday night’s match will be featured on ESPN2, the first nationally televised match for 901 FC this season.

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