MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis 901FC had a week off after capturing two wins on June 22 and 25. It was a week that heavily featured defender Graham Smith.
Smith picked up the USL Team of the Week nomination after a header goal in each of the team's last two matchups. Both goals were setup perfectly by Aaron Molloy. It's a function of the team being in sync regardless of who's near the net.
If the USL Team of the Week nod is going to defender Graham Smith's head, he's not showing it.
"Oh, it's fine. That's more for the attacking players, they care more about that. I'm just glad we got two shutouts and two wins," Smith said. "I probably should have more than two right now because [Molloy's] serves have been really good. It's one of those things where one goes in and then hopefully it starts to roll over and you can keep it going."
Memphis 901FC got those two wins in shutout fashion, keeping their opponents scoreless. Goalkeeper Trey Muse takes pride in the shutout wins, but said Memphis' back line has made his job easy.
"Really they're cleaning up passes, they're cleaning up the balls in the air, the crosses. When my job is called upon, it's really last-ditch effort and it's really rare," Muse said.
Now, 901FC prepares for a road trip to the Sunshine State to face Tampa Bay: a top-three team in the Eastern Conference that they already beat once at home.
"I think every game we go out to prove something that we belong and we're going to maintain, but these are the games as players as coaches as staff that you get up for," said Caleb Sewell, Memphis 901FC's Assistant Sporting Director.
"We have to make them suffer whether it's a back four, back three, pressing high, building out. We have to make sure that they feel us as much as we feel them because it will be an up and down game," said head coach Ben Pirmann.
Winning at home is fine and expected, but winning against a top team on the road is just another chance to prove themselves on Saturday.