Memphis Sport Fans, Meet The Memphis 901 FC
Ed. Note: Contributor Austin Crowder is here with a preview for our new pro soccer team, the Memphis 901 FC. This post should answer all your questions about the United Soccer League’s debut in Memphis, but let us know if you have more questions.
The first 901 FC game is March 9 at 6 p.m. at AutoZone Park against Tampa Bay. Tickets start at $15 for a single match. But first, there’s a Fan Fest this Saturday, March 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that’s free. On the 2nd, watch an open practice, try to take some penalty kicks, and take photos with the team.
(FC stands for “football club” and is standard naming for soccer teams around the world.)
Memphis sports fandom, meet Memphis 901 FC, our new professional soccer team. You two are a match made in heaven because in soccer, as in Memphis, unabashed raucous fan loyalty shines.
Any doubters, please see the Memphis 901 FC designated Supporters Sections, “subject to excessive noise, smoke, flag waving, drum playing, disruption, and extreme fandom!” or the official supporters group Bluff City Mafia, which has already started an outright twitter beef with Nashville SC. #MemphisAF
Memphis legend DeAngelo Williams has already claimed 901 FC as his team of choice and Marc Gasol (you’re a forever Memphian and we miss you) already has the epic 901 FC gear, so let’s get the rest of Memphis caught up.
I have successfully found my soccer team thanks Memphis u have made me a fan I’m coming to some games can u hook an unemployed tiger up 🧐🤷🏾♂️ https://t.co/QqlGctj0Pk
— DeAngelo Williams (@DeAngeloRB) February 24, 2019
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Why Memphis 901 FC Is An Awesome Addition To Memphis
1. Rivalries: One thing that’s fun about the United Soccer League is that with 36 teams and a focus on regional competition, there are plenty of nearby teams to trash-talk. I see us generally dominating our way into a blossoming rivalry with at least a few of them. Of course Nashville SC is Enemy Number One, but we also can enjoy showing our 901 pride against Birmingham Legion FC, Saint Louis FC, and whatever team may cross us. Speaking of beef with Nashville SC, they didn’t even opt for the authentic “FC” but settled with “SC”.
2. Memphis 901 FC has swagger. First off, Tim Howard (former US Men’s National Team goalie, Olympian, debonair part-time Memphian, and, you know, U.S. soccer legend) is a minority owner of the team and reps the 901 hard. Second, The 901 FC branding has been on point with easily the dopest team crest in the league and some seriously fresh gear.
– 17 additional chances to experience the world-class Autozone Park
– 17 chances to walk to Beale after a match (or Tom Lee Park on the banks of the Mississippi River before one)
– 17 times you could catch a glimpse of the sunset-lit skyline in the background of the park
– 17 chances to choose between getting raucous in the stands or relaxing on a blanket with the fam on the bluff while taking in the beauty and energy of this great city and the people in it
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4. Memphis 901 FC is going to be a part of the expanding energy and love surrounding the game of soccer in Memphis, the south, and the nation. This team will give a chance for aspiring youth soccer players and hobbling adult league has beens like myself (s/o to SMSC) to take in the magic of the sport at the professional level. Hopefully we will see the rise of some more hometown heroes like Tim Howard as locals are inspired and can even take a shot at open tryouts.
5. The team has brought players from all over the world to Memphis, including athletes from Trinidad, Jamaica, Cuba, Honduras, Canada, and two from Trinidad & Tobago.
Players To Know
Marc Burch is the first ever team captain. The veteran leader played 13 seasons in MLS, the highest level of U.S. play, is a former teammate of Tim Howard, and previously won a U.S. Open Cup Championship.
Dan Metzger also brings championship pedigree after winning the USL Cup in 2016 and has also seen MLS playing time.
Former University of Memphis Midfielder Raul Gonzalez has played two seasons in the USL.
For the full roster and twitter handles to keep tabs on them go here.
Schedule + Games To Look For
The USL season spans from March through October.
To begin there will be a Fan Fest on March 2nd from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that is free and open to the public. Festivities will include an open practice, a chance to take penalty kicks on the field, and photos with the team.
The full season schedule is here but for some games to put on the calendar now:
Season Opener: Saturday March 9th is the season opener against the Tampa Bay Rowdies and it will be…turnt (or whatever the kids are saying these days). It is history being made. Don’t miss the first ever home match where the energy of thousands of die-hard soccer fans in Memphis finally getting their chance to cheer for a team of their own will be unleashed.
Nashville SC: Mark your calendars now for Wed. July 17th @ 7:30 p.m. to watch 901 FC live out its tag line (Defend Memphis). Since Terminix is the official jersey sponsor can we just start #TerminateNashvilleSC now?
Louisville City FC: On Sat. October 19 at 7pm the defending league champions will come into Autozone Park and give Memphis 901 FC, the new expansion team on the block, a chance to prove itself and its place in the USL.
Being the inaugural season, there are great ticket options including season tickets starting at $10 per match and flex plans in two match or five match sets. There are also military discounts as well as awesome options for groups.
One feature that is so unique is the variety of seating options available from family picnics on the bluff, to luxury boxes, to high intensity cheering in the designated Supporters Sections making a way for everyone to enjoy a soccer match at Autozone park.
There is a great map of the seating options and prices here.
The Bluff City Mafia
Holly here. I’m jumping back in to talk about Bluff City Mafia. As mentioned above, there are plenty of options for seating at various price levels and for different experiences. If you’re planning to go Full Memphis Soccer, I recommend you join the Bluff City Mafia. They’re the official supporters club, the people who will be meeting up before and after matches, marching in together, leading the chants (chants are a thing in soccer) and wearing scarves (scares are also a thing in soccer) and drinking beer (optional obviously, but it will be happening).
Joining the group is $25, which includes a scarf, sticker, discounts at the Brass Door, and priority seating within the Supporters Section. The fee is separate from your tickets. Find out more about BCM here, and join up before the first match.
— Bluff City Mafia (@BluffCityMafia) February 9, 2019
About The Author
Austin was raised in the Los Angeles area but found his home (and his Memphian wife) here in Memphis, Tennessee. He teaches high school government and economics in South Memphis. He contributes to theCommercial Appeal, SB Nation, and I Love Memphis. But everyone in the rec basketball league knows his true passion and calling is to grow a few more inches to become an NBA player for the Memphis Grizzlies. Follow him on Twitter @acrowder73.