Memphis 901 FC @ San Diego Loyal preview
The Beale Street Boys are finally back in the win column. After going seven straight games without a win, encompassing the entire month of July, they got back to their winning ways this past Saturday against Indy Eleven. With that win 901 FC now has points in four of its last six games. But they are still in the middle of a long road trip which concludes when they get set for a first-ever meeting with the San Diego Loyal.
It had been a rough few weeks for 901 FC and there’s just no getting around that. But credit to them for playing much better these last two games as the calendar flipped to August. July had seen them concede six goals to Phoenix Rising, four goals to San Antonio FC, four goals to Orange County SC, and four goals to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. But with the move into August, the defensive play has improved greatly. At least a portion of that can be attributed to the return of Carson Vom Steeg from an injury he sustained in 901 FC’s 3-1 win on the road against Louisville City back on June 10th.
The first game this month was a road game against Loudoun, a game featuring a bizarre kickoff time of 11am. That game finished 0-0, the first clean sheet kept by Memphis since a 4-0 home win over FC Tulsa back on June 21st, a stretch of seven games. They followed that up with a trip to Indianapolis and a 2-1 win over Indy Eleven. Lucas Turci got things going for the Beale Street Boys in the 38th minute but Indy was able to equalize shortly after halftime. That set the stage for Akeem Ward to seal the deal in spectacular fashion from 20 yards out with just nine minutes to play in the game.
It does bear mentioning that, despite a rough July, 901 FC has been quite good in games away from home this year. All three US Open Cup games were on the road, and they won two of them (including a massive Cupset over Atlanta United from MLS). In league play they have had twelve road games and have managed to get points from ten of those twelve, with both losses coming just last month. The upcoming game against San Diego will be the fourth, and final, one of the current road trip before a return to AutoZone Park on August 23rd to face…Indy Eleven.
San Diego may be the future home of an MLS team but it currently is the home of a very good USL team. The Loyal are currently well within the playoff places this year, and have qualified for the playoffs each of the last two seasons. They also advanced to the Third Round of the US Open Cup this year before falling to the Seattle Sounders of MLS in a 5-4, extra-time thriller. They also have some soccer star power in the ownership group as both former USMNT legend Landon Donovan and current USMNT defender DeAndre Yedlin. Also of interest for 901 FC fans is two former Memphis players on their roster: midfielder Morgan Hackworth and forward Elliott Collier. More impressive than their roster and ownership group however, is their current run of form. They have won four of their last five games and managed to get points in five of their last six. And for good measure, they also played a big-time friendly against German super-club Borussia Dortmund.
Date: Saturday, August 12, 2023
Venue: Torero Stadium
City: San Diego, California
Time: 9pm CT
TV: WMC 5.2, ESPN+
Memphis 901 FC: 5th in East (34pts)
San Diego Loyal: 4th in West (36pts)
Date: Wednesday, August 23, 2023
Competition: USL Regular Season
Match-Up: Memphis 901 FC vs. Indy Eleven
Venue: AutoZone Park
City: Memphis, Tennessee
Time: 7pm CT
TV: WMC 5.2, ESPN+
Radio: Sirius XMFC Channel 157
Photo Credit: D’Angelo Connell Photography
ZenSports is the only sportsbook that rewards you in CASH! Start earning an unlimited 5% cash Welcome Bonus on your bets for 15 days, using code 'BLUFFC'
You can subscribe to more Insider content to get even more Memphis Grizzlies and Memphis Tigers coverage here.
Make sure you check out all our podcasts that focus on Grizzlies, Tigers, Soccer, and more!