In their first match of the 2023 United Soccer League (USL) regular season, Loudoun United FC won 3-1 against Memphis 901 FC. The Red-and-White started the season with a victory on the road.
The match opened up for the Red-and-White in the 8th minute when midfielder Panos Armenakas played a one-two with Tommy Willamson before playing the ball to forward Zach Ryan at the top of the 18-yard box. Ryan played a first-time back-heeled pass into space to find the on-rushing Williamson, who calmly placed the ball between the goalkeeper’s legs for the first goal of the 2023 USL Championship season.
United were not done yet. Just three minutes later, Zach Ryan found his first goal of the night with a thunderous left-footed shot from the top of the box. Kalil ElMedkhar picked up his first assist of the season.
Memphis 901 FC finally found their footing and started to control possession as Loudoun defended tirelessly for the remaining minutes of the half. Memphis found their breakthrough from a midfield error that led to a counterattack goal in the 37th minute.
Following the break, Memphis continued to control possession early in the second half. Tension rose as Memphis’ Laurent Kissiedou was issued a red card in the 63rd minute. Playing with ten men, Memphis continued to put on the pressure to level the score.
With just mere seconds on the clock, Loudoun United secured the 3 points with a 94th minute goal. Substitute Abdoul Zanne found Zach Ryan alone in the box for a clinical finish to claim the forward’s first brace of the season.
Goalkeeper Hugo Fauroux recorded four saves on the night in his debut for Loudoun United FC.
Ryan Martin on the win and the team’s performance
“Really proud of the guys to get three points in a tough place to play against one of the top teams in the league last season. They stepped up and made crucial plays on both sides of the ball. Fantastic start to the match and made key plays to close it out. The guys have been working tremendously hard so it’s amazing to be rewarded with three points!”
Zach Ryan on the win and the team’s performance
“The team is obviously thrilled, not only in the win, but to have shown our capabilities in moments. We played quick and were organized. We definitely made it more difficult than we needed to in the second half. A great result and a lot to improve on. I’m glad I could help the team by contributing my two goals and assist.”
Tommy Williamson on the win and his first goal of the season
“Overall, it was a great team win. I thought the boys put in a shift, especially in the second half when things weren’t going our way. I’m excited because we can be even better than the performance that we put on today and it’s only a glimpse of what we can do as a team. I thought we were strong, not only offensively but defensively. Of course, I’m really happy to get the first goal of the season and kick that off. I think it’s really important for a forward to find a goal early and get that confidence. “
- Forward Zach Ryan notched two goals and an assist in his debut.
- Forward Tommy Williamson scored the first goal of the USL Championship season in the 8th minute.
- Hugo Fauroux recorded four saves in tonight’s match.
- 10 players made their Loudoun United FC debut in tonight’s match including Hugo Fauroux, Koa Santos, Yanis Leerman, Cole Turner, Panos Armenakas, Aidan Rocha, Kalil ElMedkhar, Tommy Willamson, Zach Ryan and Wesley Leggett.
- This was the fifth time the two clubs have met in the USL Championship.
- Loudoun United FC is now 2-2-1 against Memphis 901 FC
- Loudoun United FC are 1-0-0 on the road in 2023.
Goals by Half
|1st Half||2nd Half||Total|
|Memphis 901 FC||1||0||1|
|Loudoun United FC||2||1||3|
|Minute||Team||Goal Scorer||Assisted by|
|8’||Loudoun United FC||Tommy Williamson||Zach Ryan|
|11’||Loudoun United FC||Zach Ryan||Kalil ElMedkhar|
|37’||Memphis 901 FC||Laurent Kissiedou||Bruno Lapa|
|94’||Loudoun United FC||Zach Ryan||Abdoul Zanne|
|41’||Memphis 901 FC||Akeem Ward||Yellow Card|
|47’||Memphis 901 FC||Luiz Fernando||Yellow Card|
|49’||Loudoun United FC||Panos Armenakas||Yellow Card|
|63’||Loudoun United FC||Houssou Landry||Yellow Card|
|63’||Memphis 901 FC||Laurent Kissiedou||Red Card|
|71’||Memphis 901 FC||Graham Smith||Yellow Card|
|Team||Shots||Shots on Goal||Corners||Possession (%)||Saves|
|Memphis 901 FC||14||5||4||52.4||1|
|Loudoun United FC||9||4||1||47.6||4|