Match Preview: Legion FC V. Memphis 901 FC - Saturday, August 17, 2019
Birmingham Legion FC v. Memphis 901 FC
Saturday, August 17 - 7:00PM CT Kickoff - BBVA Field, Birmingham, AL
Watch - My68, ESPN+
Legion FC looks to continue to carry momentum from a five-game unbeaten streak into match week 23 and a home contest versus regional rival, and fellow USL Championship expansion side, Memphis 901 FC.
Head Coach Tom Soehn said, "I think with both team's you'll see new faces [from the first matchup], so we'll have to adjust to that. But overall, I think they play a similar style and we play a bit differently so we're just looking for strengths and try to take those away and I think we can also find some weaknesses and we'll really try and key in on those."
When asked how it felt to come back home after a couple road matches, and on a four-game unbeaten run at BBVA Field, Soehn said "It's incredible. The fans just keep getting better and better and the field's in awesome shape, so we're excited to get back home. It's a really welcoming feeling knowing that you'll be playing at home."
Legion FC Match Notes: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lpmtcz424hc4ccj/Legion%20FC%20Game%20Notes%20-%20BHMvMEM%20-%20Aug17.pdf?dl=0
Memphis 901 FC currently sit in 15th place in the USL Championship Eastern Conference standings. The team has only won twice on the road all year and just four times in total.
Memphis has struggled offensively this inaugural season, having only scored 21 goals, second-least in the USL and have not scored on the road since May. The defense has been solid - allowing 32 goals, good for top half of the league. The roster has seen some recent shake ups, as the team added forward Brandon Allen from Tampa Bay, forward Pierre Da Silva from Brazilian club Atletico Paranaense via Orlando City, and midfielder Marcus Epps on loan from New York Red Bulls to bolster the attack, as well as defender Liam Doyle from Nashville. All four have stepped right into starting roles.
According to forward Eddie Opoku "it's exciting [being back home]. The fans have always been great - even in the first half of the season when we weren't playing so well, they all stayed faithful to us. So as players we all want to give them something good to cheer on, and I think they can tell how hard we've been working and they've been great to us and once we get that fans going it's a real boost to the players and hopefully we can get a victory."
#9 Chandler Hoffman ruptured his PCL on July 13 and is out the remainder of the season. #3 Kyle Fisher (hamstring), #16 Daigo Kobayashi (knee), #17 Gael Mabiala (ankle), #21 Zach Herivaux (knee) and #88 Femi Hollinger-Janzen (concussion) are also out, per the VIVA Health injury report. #33 Kyle Culbertson will miss the trip due to a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation. He received his fifth caution of the season on August 10th against Tampa Bay.
The only prior meeting between these two teams, in Memphis, ended in a thrilling 2-2 draw. Goals came from Memphis's Cam Lindley and Duane Muckette and Birmingham's Daniel Johnson and Hoffman, with three of those goals hitting the back of the net after the 85th minute.
Follow @bhmlegion on Twitter for live game updates, and watch live on My68 and ESPN+.
The squad hits the road again for a three-game stretch starting in Philadelphia against Bethlehem Steel FC next Sunday, August 25. The game will air live on My68 and ESPN+ at 6:00PM CT.
The next Legion FC home game takes place on Friday, September 13 at BBVA Field versus Saint Louis FC at 7:00PM. Tickets are available at bhmlegion.com/tickets or by calling the Legion FC Ticket Office at 205-600-4635.
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