901's season opener was tarnished by Indy Eleven despite the new addition of U.S. Soccer legendTim Howard.
Memphis 901 FC could not stop Indy from producing well in the second half and lost their home opener 2-4. The 901 lost a two goal lead and could not recover. Coach Tim Mulqueen said the loss stings for him and the team.
"We gave Indy tons of fits tonight," Mulqueen said. "There is a lot of good to that game as well. We just need to go back and make sure that all the little details that make up a winning performance we take care of the entire game."
Memphis went up 2-0 and did not allow Indy to score until just before halftime. Indy then scored four unanswered goals and took the game in the second half.
"I don't think we anything really different," Mulqueen said. "I think we need to get better at what we have been doing."
901 took an early lead over the Indy Eleven, scoring first at the 8th minute. Forward Brandon Allen attempted the first shot of the game and got a quick 1-0 lead.
Memphis later extended that lead with another goal after the start to the 15th minute. Memphis scored on their first two shots of the game and Indy had yet to attempt one. However, Indy responded by scoring a goal in the three additional minutes before halftime. Forward Ayoze Garcia converted Indy's third shot of the game into a result to make it a 2-1 deficit.
When the teams resumed play, neither side scored for nearly 25 minutes. Indy player Tyler Pasher then scored midway in the 68th minute. Three minutes later Pasher scored again and gave the lead to Indy. The forward scored his second goal of the game in the 71st minute and Indy overcame the two goal deficit.
Indy added an insurance goal in the 82nd minute and led 4-2 for the remainder of the game. The 901 took a loss at home and watched an early 2-0 lead perish to Indy.
901 took five shots in the second half compared the 12 shots from Indy. Memphis could not produce much opportunities after the 59th minute, shooting only one for the remainder of the game. Indy out shot 901 8-1 after the 60 minute mark. Memphis also fell short in total shots 11-to-15 whereas they led in the first half shots 6-3.
Mulqueen said he does not need to make too many big changes before their next match.
"We said going into preseason that after six weeks of preseason tonight would be a great test to see where we are and measuring ourselves in the league," Mulqueen said.
In the short history of 901 football, they have accrued three losses to Indy Eleven in all three matches. The previous two from last season were both 3-0 losses and 901 has been outperformed for the third time.
The 901 FC has won neither of their two season openers in their two-year franchise history. 901 is 1-1 in their home openers, beating the Tampa Bay Rowdies 1-0 last season.
901 midfielder Michael Reed said the for the first game of the year with all the new players they just have to take the positives.
"We just have to take things that are in our control," Reed said.
Reed said the appearance and interaction from the crowd was 'nice'.
"They seem through and through, die hard," Reed said. "Hopefully they stick around and get a feel for the success of this team because I have a feeling that we are just going to keep building."
It was the largest recorded 901 FC crowd in the two-year existence of the team ,and Memphis is scheduled to stay home for their next game.
Memphis is matched against Saint Louis FC on Mar. 14. Saint Louis beat the 901 FC in their first preseason game 2-1. Contrarily, Indy Eleven beat Saint Louis 1-0 in the preseason. Saint Louis is 1-0 after they defeated the Miami FC 4-1 in their regular season opener in Miami.
901 FC captain Marc Burch aims a free kick toward the Indy Eleven net. Memphis lost their home opener 4-2 and have not beaten Indy Eleven.