Memphis 901 FC falls to Red Bulls
MONTCLAIR, New Jersey – Even though they didn’t get the result they wanted, the young core of Memphis 901 FC that has been together just a little over two months took major strides Friday night.
Memphis 901 FC fell 3-2 to New York Red Bulls II in the highest-scoring match in club history.
Despite the loss, 901 FC head coach Tim Mulqueen was pleased with how his club competed until the very end.
“I am very pleased with the effort and commitment tonight,” Mulqueen said. “I thought we competed at a very high level and scored two great goals.
“However, we made some uncharacteristic mistakes defensively that resulted in us not getting points out of the match.”
Memphis struck first Friday with midfielder Adam Najem tapping in a goal in the 11th minute off a beautiful setup by teammates Morgan Hackworth and Duane Muckette.
Najem scored his first goal of 2019 after returning home from international duty with Afghanistan’s national team.
Memphis’ lead was short-lived as New York captain Jared Stroud would even things up seven minutes later.
Both teams were locked in a battle as the minutes ticked down in the first half. New York striker Tom Barlow capitalized in stoppage time to give the hosts a 2-1 halftime advantage.
Red Bulls II would extend their lead in the 56th minute after sub Derrick Etienne converted from just inside the box.
But 901 FC (1-2-1, 4 pts) refused to go away, fighting until the very end and embodying the city it represents.
And in the 61st minute, Memphis defender and team captain Marc Burch delivered a strike off a free kick 20 yards out. The goal cut the New York lead down to just one goal.
The pace picked up in the final 30 minutes of play with both teams creating chance after chance.
Both clubs took a combined 16 shots in the second half as Memphis aimed to knot things up and New York looked for the dagger.
Red Bulls II (2-0-1, 7 pts) had a chance to go up 4-2 in the fourth minute of stoppage time after being awarded a penalty.
But Memphis goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell, who had a career-high three saves, wasn’t having any of it. Caldwell saved Barlow’s penalty kick to keep it at 3-2 and give Memphis one final shot until the final whistle sounded.
Mulqueen said although the result did not go Memphis’ way, positives can be taken from Friday’s road match.
“I think a game like this is when a team reveals its character and I think we showed tremendous character tonight,” Mulqueen said. “New York Red Bulls II has been the gold standard in our league, they won the championship in 2016.
“For us to come here and score two goals and compete with them head to head with a group that’s been together a few months, it shows we’re on the right path.”
Memphis will return home Wednesday, April 10 to face Atlanta United 2 at 7:00 p.m. in a nationally televised match on ESPNews.