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Round 2: Memphis 901 FC @ Monterey Bay Preview

Things may not have looked the brightest for a minute, but Memphis 901 FC seems to have found their stride. After a season opening win against the Las Vegas Lights, the Beale Street Boys dropped five straight league games. But they were still playing well and creating boatloads of chances. They got things back rolling with a US Open Cup win over Miami United and despite being eliminated from that competition on Tuesday (by FC Dallas of MLS) they again gave a good account of themselves.

In regular season play in the USL Championship, they have won back to back games for the first time since June of 2023. By doing so they have also hauled themselves back up into the playoff places at 8th in the Western Conference. While they haven’t looked bad at any point this season, save for perhaps the first half of the Indy Eleven game, they have looked fabulous in their last two wins. First was a road win against the Birmingham Legion (a place where 901 FC has historically struggled). Bruno Lapa scored early, Lucas Turci added a second a few minutes later, and then Bruno Lapa scored again, this time on an absolutely devastating counter-attack. Even better was the performance of Tyler Deric in the Memphis goal as he made a multitude of smart saves to keep the clean sheet. Most recently in league play was a resounding home win over the Tampa Bay Rowdies. After a somewhat tortuous history with the Rowdies, 901 FC has now won three straight against them. Last Saturday’s game was a dismantling, helped by an early send-off of a Rowdies defender. The Beale Street Boys gladly took advantage as Marlon Santos scored a goal (that was nominated for Goal of the Week) before turning provider for Luiz Fernando. Tampa pulled one back just before the half but 901 FC came out and reasserted themselves in the second half. Marlon got another goal, this one off a thunderbolt from Bruno Lapa that hit the crossbar. Dylan Borczak finished things off with a nice goal that came primarily from miscommunication between the keeper and the defenders.

Can they keep the good league form rolling on the West Coast?

Memphis 901 FC has already played Monterey Bay this season of course. Just three weeks ago, the two teams faced off at at AutoZone Park, and despite falling behind early on a calamitous own goal, the visitors from California were able to find two goals and get all three points. Since that game, it’s been almost a tale of two cities. While 901 FC has won both of their league games, Monterey Bay has lost both of their league games. First was a 2-0 loss away to Orange County SC before falling at home to Indy Eleven by a 1-0 scoreline. Nor do they have the US Open Cup to look forward to either as they were dispatched 2-0 by the Sacramento Republic on Tuesday night. So since they beat 901 FC in April, Monterey Bay has lost every game and has not scored a goal. Fans in Memphis will undoubtedly be hoping for a continuation of that trend.

When, Where

Date: Saturday, May 11, 2024

Venue: Cardinale Stadium

City: Seaside, California

Time: 9pm CT

TV: WMC 5.3, ESPN+

All-Time Series

Memphis 901 FC trails 0-2-0

Last Meeting

Date: Saturday, April 20, 2024

Venue: AutoZone Park

City: Memphis, Tennessee

Attendance: 2,598

Result: Memphis 901 FC 1-2 Monterey Bay

Conference Standing:

Memphis 901 FC: 8th in West (9pts)

Monterey Bay: 4th in West (14pts)

Next Game

Date: Friday, May 17, 2024

Competition: USL Regular Season

Match-Up: Memphis 901 FC @ El Paso Locomotive

Venue: Southwest University Park

City: El Paso, Texas

Time: 8pm CT

TV: WMC 5.3, ESPN+

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