Two clubs in the bottom half of the USL Championship Eastern Conference standings will lock horns Saturday night as the Swope Park Rangers (3-15-6, 15 points) visit Memphis 901 FC (5-13-7, 22 points) at AutoZone Park in downtown Memphis. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT with a live stream on ESPN Plus and additional in-game updates available on the USL Championship Match Center and via @SwopeRangers on Twitter.
The Rangers are currently mired in a six-game losing streak, while Memphis had been winless in five prior to claiming a 2-1 road win over Atlanta United 2 on Aug. 28 behind Adam Najem’s late brace. SPR and Memphis battled to a 2-2 draw in their inaugural meeting on May 22 at Children’s Mercy Park. Four different players opened their 2019 scoring accounts as SPR received a first-half penalty from Camden Riley and a second-half goal from Mark Segbers, while Memphis struck early and late through Dan Metzger and Tristan Hodge, respectively.
Led by second-year head coach Paulo Nagamura, the Rangers suffered a 2-0 defeat at Bethlehem Steel FC on Sunday night at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania. Michee Ngalina and Zach Zandi scored on either side of halftime to secure the triumph. SPR outshot Bethlehem 20-8, putting five attempts on target, but none pierced the back of the net on a frustrating night in the Northeast.
Under the guidance of head coach Tim Mulqueen, who previously served as the Kansas City Wizards goalkeeping coach from 2000-2004, Memphis 901 FC have experienced similar struggles as a USL Championship expansion team. Chicago Fire loanee Elliot Collier leads the club with five goals, while Najem and USL veteran Brandon Allen have four each.
The Rangers will likely be forced to atone for the absence of talismanic midfielder Felipe Gutierrez, who has a team-best eight goals and three assists this season. The 21-year-old signed an MLS contract with Sporting last week, becoming the club's 12th Homegrown Player. In almost three full seasons with SPR, Hernandez has amassed 13 goals and a club-record 10 assists across 80 USL Championship matches (including playoffs).
USL Championship: Game 25 of 34
Date: Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Location: AutoZone Park (Memphis, Tennessee)
Swope Park Rangers: 3-15-6 (15 points, 18th place in Eastern Conference)
MLS Affiliate: Sporting Kansas City
Memphis 901 FC: 5-13-7 (22 points, 15th place in Eastern Conference)
MLS Affiliate: None
ESPN+ Live Stream Link: Click here
USL Championship MatchCenter: Click here
Match Notes: Click here
Game-specific hashtag: #MEMvSPR
Swope Park Rangers
Memphis 901 FC