The 901 FC Look to Extend Their Unbeaten Run Against Ottawa

By: Caleb Hilliard 

 

In the reverse fixture, Ottawa failed to continue their unbeaten run as the 901 FC’s defense held strong to force a goalless draw.

Memphis are one of three teams this season to keep the Fury scoreless and they would benefit from accomplishing this feat once more.

A win for Memphis could see them move past Loudoun United into the 14th spot in the table.

The Fury sit sixth in the table with 32 points and a record of 8-3-8.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at AutoZone Park on Saturday, July 27.

What to Watch for: Ottawa Fury

Since the draw with Memphis Ottawa have a record of 2-1-3.

They played out a six-goal thriller of a draw with Nashville SC.

The Fury then claimed victory of the Charleston Battery thanks to a brace from Carl Haworth.

Eastern Conference leaders, Tampa Bay ended Ottawa’s 10-match unbeaten run by a narrow score of 2-1.

They rebounded following the loss but struggled to score. In the next two matches the Fury dropped four possible points due to 1-1 results with both New York Red Bulls II and Louisville City FC.

In the match leading up to their trip to the Bluff City, Ottawa thumped the Swope Park Rangers 4-0. They scored all four goals in 18 minutes.

Unlike most teams in the USL, Ottawa are participating in another competition, the Canadian Championship.

They just defeated the Halifax Wanderers by 5-4, across two legs.

The team could be suffering from fatigue after five matches in 22 days.

Due to the number of matches recently, head coach Nikola Popovic has switched up his team-sheets but the no matter who is on the pitch, Popovic wants his team to lineup in a 4-3-3 formation.

A few players are always in the starting lineup, barring their health. Mour Samb and Wall Fall, tow of the mainstays in Popovic’s starting XI are the team’s leading goal-scorers.

The pair are one of the deadliest duos in the league and have 14 goals and 7 assists combined.

Memphis had issues keeping up with Fall on the break and need a different game plan this time around.

Samb was not as effective in the match against Memphis, but the player who gave Tim Mulqueen and his players fits was Christiano François. The Haitian midfielder is pacey and creative. He can open up a match at any moment and the Memphis back-line need to be at their best in order to stop François.

Defensively, Ottawa are one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. They have conceded the 7th fewest goal this season (21) and the 10th most clean-sheets (6).

What to watch for: Memphis 901 FC

Despite a dismal record thus far, Memphis are becoming one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference.

The 2-2 draw against the NYRB II proved that Memphis are not an easy team to put away. The 901 FC looked out of sorts in the first half, but the team galvanized in the second half. One of the players who deserved credit for the second half comeback is Lagos Kunga.

The forward is young and still learning but he should be a regular starter for the remainder of the season. He is the fastest player on the roster and one of the more creative forwards.

Kunga struggled when he first arrived but now, he is becoming comfortable with the team.

Midfielder, Cameron Lindley is another player that can change a match on his own.

He is arguably the best facilitator on the roster and leads his team with 30 key passes. Lindley will have his hands full on Saturday as he will likely mark Ottawa’s Fall.

Another player to keep an eye on is goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell.

He recently returned from MLS-side NYFC and started in the last match.

Caldwell is the most talented goalkeeper on the roster and his return makes the team stronger. He is the only goalkeeper to keep a clean-sheet this season (2 clean sheets).

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