Last week, Loudoun United went to a baseball field in Tennessee for their first-ever game in the USL Championship, only to lose 2-0 to Nashville SC. This week, their second-ever game found them again on a baseball field, this time against Memphis 901 FC. The battle of the two expansion sides was a back and forth affair, and it seemed a 1-1 result was fair, in front of 7,250 at AutoZone Park was a fair result.
Loudoun found themselves more composed offensively compared to last week as they acclimated to one another, with their first shot moments into the game by Connor Presley, while Memphis had intermittent problems with passing between defenders Marc Burch and Dan Metzger and their goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell. In the 30th minute, forward Kyle Murphy sent a ball to left winger (and D.C. United Academy player) Griffin Yow, whose right footed shot appeared to deflect off Duane Muckette’s foot and over Caldwell for the first ever goal in Loudoun’s history. Goalkeeper Calle Brown later made a point blank save on Memphis forward (and Chicago Fire loanee) Elliot Collier to keep things at 1-0 going into halftime.
Loudoun continued applying pressure in the second half, as D.C. loanee/homegrown player Antonio Bustamante had a free kick go to Murphy, whose shot was headed over the bar. They also dealt with pressure in the moments before and after it, and ultimately Collier found space from defender Harri Hawkins and sent a low left footed shot past Brown for their first goal in team history. Loudoun continued to press and Murphy had a chance late in stoppage time which ultimately went for naught.
Loudoun (0-1-1) is off next week, resuming play on March 30 at the Tampa Bay Rowdies.