By: Caleb Hilliard
901 FC have two consecutive wins for the first time this season. They journeyed north to upended Hartford 2-1 and five days later defeated New York Red Bulls U-23 3-1 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Saturday’s match against the Riverhounds is essentially the biggest match of the season, so far, due to how close the teams are in the standings. Memphis would leapfrog Pittsburgh into possibly the 11th position with a win.
What to watch for: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Pittsburgh got off to a roaring start with a record of 2-1-2. They lost to the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the opening match and subsequently earned back-to-back draws against Swope Park Rangers and Bethlehem Steele FC.
Following the two draws, the Riverhounds traveled to Louisville City FC and edged the hosts 1-0. They continued their unbeaten streak into their first home match of the season at Highmark Stadium, with a 3-1 win over Hartford Athletic.
Pittsburgh remains unbeaten in seven straight match heading into the match against Memphis. Their last three matches all ended in draws, 0-0 deadlock match against Saint Louis FC, 2-2 draw against Nashville SC and a 2-2 draw in their last match at the Charleston Battery.
Needless to say, Pittsburgh have made it consistently difficult for team to obtain all three points.
Pittsburgh have 12 goals this season and average a goal every 60 minutes. The Riverhounds have not established a consistent goal scorer, with eight players contributing to the 12 goals.
Scottish midfielder, Kevin Kerr leads the team with three goals and one assist. He joined the Riverhounds in 2013 and has 27 goals in total, across 27 appearances. Kerr favors his right foot and often looks to go for goal, if he finds a touch of space.
Jamaican midfielder, Kenardo Forbes is also an offensive impact player. He leads Pittsburgh with 398 total passes and 15 chances created.
The Pittsburgh defense is anchored by Joseph Greenspan. The 26-year-old has MLS experience with the Colorado Rapids and Minnesota United. He leads his team with 60 clearances and towers over forwards at six feet, six inches tall.
What to watch for: Memphis 901 FC
Tim Mulqueen could possibly make a few changes in the starting XI for Saturday’s home match.
Right-back Josh Morton starred in Wednesday’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup win. He netted a brace and played solid defense at the back.
Wes Charpie will likely retain his right-back position, but it will be interesting to see if Mulqueen stays with the hot hand.
Forward, Lagos Kunga signed for Memphis on Tuesday and immediately made an impact in the Open Cup match. He completed eight out of nine dribbles and assisted on Morton’s first goal.
Kunga will likely come on as a substitute against Pittsburgh but he will surely earn his spot in the starting XI soon.
Midfielder, Cameron Lindley has been one of the better players on the team in recent matches. Lindley has two goals in his last three matches after his direct free-kick in the match midweek. He will look to disrupt the Riverhound’s tactics in the midfield and play his teammates forward with his passing.