By: Caleb Hilliard
Memphis 901 FC get a brief break from USL Championship play and will play C.F. Pachuca in a Friendly match, at AutoZone Park.
The event is a major international event for the city of Memphis and a big step for the bluff city soccer.
Adding to the excitement, the celebrity guitar smasher will be Ja Morant, The Memphis Grizzles’ 2nd overall draft pick.
Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. Saturday, June 22 at AutoZone Park.
What to watch for: C.F. Pachuca
Pachuca play in Mexico’s first division, Liga MX. They are a historic club with seven league titles and five Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League titles.
Their regular season commenced in May with the team finishing 7th in the Liga MX Clausura table.
The upcoming friendly against Memphis is Pachuca’s first official match of their offseason.
Pachuca have several stars on their roster, but head coach Martín Palermo may not field his normal starting XI.
Franco Jara and Leonardo Ulloa led the forward line last season with a combined 15 goals and four assists, across Liga MX Clasura and Apertura.
Ulloa is perhaps the most accomplished player on the roster. The forward won the British Premier League with Leicester City in 2016.
Midfielder, Edwin Cardona is another player that possesses a wide array of unique skill. He is great with possession and can easily break down the opposition with his passing and shooting.
Cardona had a hand in 16 goals for Pachuca last season.
What to watch for: Memphis 901 FC
The match against Pachuca has nothing to do with the USL Championship standings.
Tim Mulqueen has a chance to experiment with a different formation and/or a few changes in the team-sheet.
Most likely, he will play the typical starters with Scott Levene between the pipes.
Levene will likely be the starting keeper for the time being, due to Jeff Caldwell’s MLS call-up. He can gain confidence with a few saves against a quality international side, this weekend.
It is vital for Levene to gain confidence ahead of a crucial match against the Charlotte Independence.
Another player that would benefit from a boost in confidence is forward Jochen Graf.
The forward has not been clinical in front of net through the last two matches, but he possesses the ability to carry the Memphis offense over the course of the season.
Full-back Wes Charpie has been one of the defensive standouts of the season so far. He will have his hands full against a crafty Pachuca attack. The friendly is a chance for Charpie to gain vital experience against a world-class opponent.