Last weekend saw Loudoun United go on the road to play an Eastern Conference team who had one eye on the scoreboard and was hoping to give themselves a bit of momentum, and through a fortunate rebound, Tulsa did just that over the Red-and-White in a 2-1 win. Tonight sees Loudoun do that once again, albeit with higher stakes, as their opponent is battling to hold onto second place in the East and wants to challenge Louisville City for the top spot. The Lou play tonight and if they lose, a Memphis win gets them within a point of the lead and also officially eliminates Loudoun from postseason contention. The last time Loudoun was here, Griffin Yow scored the franchise’s first goal in a 2019 draw, but things have certainly changed for both clubs, the goalscorer (and a lot of us) since that time.
player concept: Stay stout, but less drinkable
Memphis saw a four-game winning streak end with a loss to Birmingham on August 20, and they hit the road to play at Orange County SC on Saturday before playing at Atlanta United 2 on September 7 and hosting Charleston on September 16. The latter two teams have been eliminated from the postseason for a week or so and the chance to get into a rhythm before a long road trip Thursday is prime for them, and a win puts them on the cusp of clinching a playoff spot. They’ll want to start right, and they’ll bomb guys forward to do so. If Loudoun’s first half from Tulsa can be replicated, minus the immediate concession of a goal, they could be in decent shape.
Location: Autozone Park (Memphis, TN)
Kickoff time: 8:00 pm Eastern
Projected Loudoun starting 11/who D.C. United is loaning: Well, Kristian Fletcher finalized his homegrown deal and was recalled for the team for tonight’s game. In his place:
Looks like Ted Ku-DiPietro travelled with Loudoun United (who play at Memphis). The 20-year-old made his first #VamosUnited career start on 7/23, has appeared in 8 games (including 3 of last 4 #DCU games) overall— Ryan Keefer (@reefa_k) August 30, 2022
The quartet of Jeremy Garay, Jacob Greene, Gaoussou Samaké, and Hayden Sargis made this trip as per usual, and regarding the Academy, Gavin Turner returns from the United States U16 camp to dress tonight, with Dane Jacomen backing up Luis Zamudio.
Starters: Zamudio; Greene, Jalen Robinson (C), Carson Vom Steeg, Samaké; Garay, Nicky Downs; Abdoul Zanne, Skage Simonsen, Ku-DiPietro; Tyler Freeman
Bench: Jacomen, Sargis, Houssou Landry, Zoumana Diarra, Turner, Hassan Aqboub, Abdellatif Aboukoura
Key Memphis player/former D.C. players: Phillip Goodrum
Memphis’ group largely remains unchanged when the two teams played over the summer, but Goodrum scored a goal and an assist in that game and leads the East in goals with 14 (Orange County’s Milan Iloski, who Loudoun saw earlier this year, has 19). It remains to be seen if Trey Muse, who Loudoun sent to Memphis on loan, will play against his former-ish team, but Goodrum and Parker Molloy are the ones to keep an eye on, particularly as the team has been off since August 20 and will be looking to seize opportunities wherever they appear.
Referee: DeShun Beard
Available streaming: ESPN+ (click to subscribe to ESPN+, and your friends at B&RU get a little bit of cash!)
What are you drinking?: Got done with morning blood labs, so nothing too risky for me.
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