By: Caleb Hilliard
Memphis is looking to extent their unbeaten streak to six matches in all competitions at Saint Louis FC.
After their Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup win over Hartford Athletic, Memphis move on to the next round and will host MLS-side Orlando City SC.
Saint Louis are fifth in the Eastern Conference standings but have failed to score in their last two USL Championship matches.
Head Coach Tim Mulqueen and the 901 FC do not shy away from road matches. Through seven away matches, they have a record of 2-3-2.
What to watch for: Saint Louis FC
Saint Louis opened the USL season with a statement 2-1 home win over the Indy Eleven.
They continued their early season form with wins over Nashville SC, Charlotte Independence, Atlanta United II and a 1-1 home draw against league leaders, Tampa Bay Rowdies.
After their five-match unbeaten run to start the season, Saint Louis fell to the Birmingham Legion in a five-goal thriller, 2-3. The loss to Birmingham is the team’s only defeat of the season.
In their four matches following the Birmingham loss, Saint Louis played out goalless draws away from home, against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Charleston Battery and Louisville City FC. The one win over the four-game stretch was a 3-1 home win against the Swope Park Rangers.
Saint Louis, as a team, is experiencing recent frustration in the opposition’s final third. However, they have two players that could pose legitimate threats to the Memphis backline.
Russel Cicerone and Sam Fink have combined for half of Saint Louis’ 12 goals through 10 matches.
The tandem has combined for six goals and two assists through 10 matches played.
What to watch for: Memphis 901 FC
At this point in the season, Tim Mulqueen has seemingly solidified the starting back four.
Abdi Mohamed at left-back, Wes Charpie at right-back and Marc Burch and Tristan Hodge in central defense.
Hodge is leaving for the CONCACAF Gold Cup and will not be available, barring how far Trinidad and Tobago progress in the tournament.
Jacob Hauser-Ramsey has two starts in the Open Cup and is likely Hodge’s replacement for the next two months.
Fullback Josh Morton impressed in the Open Cup match against NY Red Bulls U-23 with two goals. He earned a start in the following cup match against Hartford. He was effective getting forward and whipping in crosses. We may see more from him in upcoming matches.
Offensively, forward Jochen Graf is in fine form at the moment. He netted a brace in the mid-week and really should have scored three or four goals.
Graf has struggled to score in the league this season, but with is recent form and experience at the USL level, he should start against Saint Louis.