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Gameday Previews – Friday, October 13

By Staff, 10/12/23, 5:00PM EDT


New Mexico hopes to clinch playoff berth as final weekend of regular season kicks off

New Mexico United's supporters will hope to cheer the side home to a place in the 2023 USL Championship Playoffs on Friday night. | Photo courtesy Brandino / New Mexico United

The final weekend of the 2023 USL Championship regular season kicks off on Friday night with a doubleheader that includes the first chance for a side to earn its spot in the postseason as New Mexico United plays host to Memphis 901 FC.

Here’s a look ahead at the action.

Hartford Athletic vs. FC Tulsa

Venue: Trinity Health Stadium
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Broadcast: ESPN+

The Lowdown: Hartford Athletic and FC Tulsa will both try to end their campaigns with a win with Hartford anticipating the largest crowd in the club’s history to send it into the offseason at Trinity Health Stadium. The Athletic (4-23-6, 18pts) return home having earned a 1-1 draw against Louisville City FC last Saturday night as Luke Merrill scored a second-half equalizer to earn the side its second consecutive result. Hartford is looking for its first win since August 5 against New Mexico United as it closes out the season, and the fans will hope for a contest that matches the drama of the first encounter between these teams this season when Tulsa took a 3-2 victory on a goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time by Phillip Goodrum. Tulsa (9-15-9, 36pts) was eliminated from playoff contention last weekend, meanwhile, as it fell 2-1 to Indy Eleven before its biggest crowd in club history. Goodrum found the net against the Boys in Blue to move to 12 goals overall this season, and enters the game one goal away from notching the 40th regular season goal in the Championship of his career.

Spotlight Players
Hartford Athletic – Elvis Amoh:
The Ghanaian forward notched his first assist of the season on Merrill’s equalizer in Louisville and will look to end his first campaign in Hartford on a high this time out.

FC Tulsa – Nathan Worth: The 16-year-old midfielder has been impressive in recent weeks, with this game a potential final audition for inclusion in the United States’ squad for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in November.

New Mexico United vs. Memphis 901 FC

Venue: Isotopes Park
Kickoff: 9 p.m. ET
Broadcast: ESPN+

The Lowdown: New Mexico United will try to add to its two-game winning streak as it bids to seal a place in the USL Championship Playoffs as it faces a Memphis 901 FC side that needs just a draw to earn a top-four finish in the Eastern Conference. New Mexico (12-14-7, 43pts) took a 2-1 victory against Phoenix Rising FC last Saturday night as goals by Amando Moreno and Justin Portillo marked the club’s first road victory against Phoenix in league play. The result moved United into eighth place in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Oakland Roots SC, and with a win the side would clinch a fourth trip to the USL Championship Playoffs in five seasons. To accomplish that it will need to turn the tables on 901 FC, which took a 2-0 win when these teams met last season at AutoZone Park, but Memphis (14-9-10, 52pts) also has its own motivation to earn a result as it looks to lock up a home playoff game to kickoff the postseason next weekend. 901 FC romped to a 4-0 victory against El Paso Locomotive FC last Saturday night as four different players found the net, and with a draw would move clear of Louisville City FC in the standings. With plenty on the line, New Mexico will hope to deliver in front of what is expected to be another raucous crowd at The Lab.

Spotlight Players
New Mexico United – Nicky Hernandez:
The attacking midfielder is eligible to return after suspension a week ago and could need to fill the gap left by Amando Moreno, who is on international duty with El Salvador for Concacaf Nations League play.

Memphis 901 FC – Rodrigo Da Costa: The Brazilian was among the scorers last week, notching his 14th goal of the season, and will likely be a handful for New Mexico’s back line throughout the night.

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