MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Memphis 901 FC (7-8-7, 28 points, Central) handled an undermanned New York Red Bulls II (4-16-4, 16 points, Atlantic) side 0-3 Sunday afternoon at MSU Soccer Park. The victory was highlighted by Skylar Thomas’ second goal of the year and a brace from Kyle Murphy which slots the forward at the top of Memphis’ all-time scoring chart with 13 goals for 901 FC.
The match started with a physically dominating Memphis 901 FC securing 10 of 10 early duels against a youthful New York side. The visitors had their chances early, and a hand ball in the box from New York gave Murphy a chance to put Memphis ahead in the 21’. From the spot, Murphy sent the keeper to the left and the ball to the right to give Memphis an early one-goal advantage. Just five minutes later, Skylar Thomas utilized his frame to head a Dre Fortune corner kick into the back of the net, extending Memphis’ lead.
Things went from bad to worse for the league’s sixth-most penalized team, as New York’s Daniel Edelman received a second yellow card in the 39’ and was ejected from the match. New York continued to bring pressure for the remainder of the match despite being outmanned, but it was a season-high four saves from Cody Cropper and six clearances apiece from Skylar Thomas and Niall Logue that secured the clean sheet. The final goal of the contest came from Murphy once more, as the New York native’s homecoming was highlighted by a brace which was confirmed with his 79’ score.
Kyle Murphy has now surpassed Brandon Allen’s 12 goals (2019-2020) to claim the club’s all-time leading scoring title with his 13 goals during his 21 appearances with the club. Murphy has averaged a goal every 112.92 minutes—a mark that puts him at third in the league this season. Additionally, Murphy is now tied for fourth in USL Championship play with his 13 scores. Skylar Thomas’ goal in the 26’ also gives the defender two on the season—the most he’s had in a single year since knocking in two for Toronto FC II in 2016.
Memphis 901 FC’s win over New York Red Bulls II now evens up the series at 1-1-1 and gives the visitors their first win over the Red Bulls in club history. The three-goal margin of victory ties the club record for third-most all time, and Kyle Murphy’s two-goal outing is just the eleventh brace in club history. Finally, Memphis’ 24 goals on the year tie the club for second-most goals in a season (2020).
“It was a good, complete team win,” Head Coach Ben Pirmann said after the win. “We were very aggressive early and we kept that going. When they went down to ten men, I wanted to keep the aggression and the courage going. We got a little sloppy at the end of the first half, and the second half was decent in terms of being aggressive and being thorough.”
“We’ve said all year that we need goals from defenders and midfielders and that was really good from Skylar, it was good to get him there,” Pirmann added. “For Kyle, there’s not enough to say about him. He’s been first class, and he represents this club and community really well. We honored him after the game because that’s a huge deal. I consider that as much a team accolade as an individual accolade.”
"Personally, it was awesome to have my friends and family there and to score in front of them,” Kyle Murphy said. “To be the club’s leading scorer feels awesome. I always try to do my best, and I’m super happy that I have a great group of guys around me that can help me be at my best. I feel like I can help us win any game that we’re in, and I want to keep that going for the rest of the season.”
The win sees Memphis remain in seventh place in the competitive Central Division but positions the club just three points shy of the playoff line. 901 FC have a quick turnaround as it welcomes Indy Eleven to AutoZone Park on Wednesday, Sept. 22. Kickoff from Memphis is slated for 7 p.m. CT, and the match can be seen on CW 30 Memphis and ESPN+.
For the latest information on the team, visit www.memphis901fc.com and follow the club on social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Tag(s): Game Recaps