Join Today


Memphis 901 FC suffer late defeat in first West Coast trip of season

A goal conceded from a set piece the difference as Memphis lose to Sacramento Republic. (Image Credit: USL Championship)
By Taylor Thompson - March 31, 2024, 12:01 am - 0 comments

Memphis 901 FC (1-2-0) were unable to defend a potent Sacramento Republic (2-0-2) attack for a full 90 minutes, conceding a goal nearing extra time, losing 1-0.

The game was chippy and whistle heavy throughout with 10 yellow cards given, Memphis collecting seven. Despite trailing in nearly every statistic, 901 FC was one moment away from earning a point in a tough environment. The biggest disparity was in the attack, Sacramento taking 13 shots (four on target) compared to Memphis with five (one on target).

Nighte Pickering, who spent the previous week with the USYNT U-19s, had the first shot of the game showing the blueprint to start. Memphis did not sit back and absorb pressure, instead pressing high up the field seeking an early goal.

The scheme had to be adjusted when Lucas Turci and Zach Duncan picked up yellow cards inside 20 minutes. Memphis was already without Akeem Ward and Oscar Jiminez, both sent off in the loss to Indy Eleven. The lack of depth sent the press backwards and forced the back line to anchor down — defending set pieces and a patient Sacramento attack.

After receiving a second warning while on a yellow card, Turci was subbed out for Marlon Santos. Goalkeeper Tyler Deric struggled with a hamstring injury twice throughout the half but stayed in the game.

Chances for both sides were limited in the first 45 minutes. 901 FC had no luck with their direct attack, opting to lob balls to Nico Brett and Nighte Pickering instead. Sacramento had the shots advantage (6-1) but none of the seven were on target.

Tensions started to rise after the break with a yellow card seemingly shown every stop in play. A tough challenge at midfield put an end to every promising attack.

Dylan Borczak and Samuel Careaga came into the game, replacing Brett and AB Cissoko in the 66th minute.

Although not at 100%, Deric made a crucial save in the 71st minute to keep the score level. An excellent through ball from Ródrigo Lopez got past the Memphis defense. This set off a series of set pieces for the Republic, Deric punching away corner after corner.

Sacramento’s goalkeeper, Danny Vitiello, had to make a crucial save of his own minutes later. Luiz Fernando popped the ball into the air, finding Borczak who backheeled it into the center of the box. Bruno Lapa needed to have the finishing touch but his shot was fired straight at Vitiello who parried it away.

Sacramento continued to threaten with set pieces, eventually finding the back of the net three minutes from extra time. An in-swinger floated towards the far post and Jonathan Ricketts got to it first. Deric made the initial save but the ricochet favored the home side, bouncing again off Ricketts.

Noe Meza, a 26-year-old attacker from Union Omaha, made his debut with Memphis shortly after but there would be no equalizer in extra time.

Next Game

Memphis will return to AutoZone Park on Saturday, April 6 for another afternoon game against Orange County SC. Kickoff will be at 3pm.


You can subscribe to more Insider content to get even more Memphis Grizzlies and Memphis Tigers coverage here.

Bluff City Media now covers every sport in the city of Memphis. Follow our Tigers, Grizzlies, and Soccer coverage on Twitter. 

Follow Bluff City Media on Instagram and TikTok - and subscribe to our Bluff City Media YouTube Channel

Make sure you check out all our podcasts that focus on Grizzlies, Tigers, Soccer, and more!

More From Bluff City Media


Leave a Reply