Former United States international Emerson Hyndman is among 10 players currently set to return to Memphis 901 FC for the 2024 USL Championship season. | Photo courtesy Ryan Beatty / Memphis 901 FC
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Memphis 901 FC announced on Monday the club’s initial roster moves following the 2023 USL Championship season, with at least 10 players set to return to the squad including former United States international Emerson Hyndman and current U.S. youth international Nighte Pickering.
Hyndman is one of six players who had contract options exercised by 901 FC, alongside goalkeeper Aren Seeger, defenders Carson Vom Steeg and Akeem Ward, midfielder Bruno Lapa, and forward Dylan Borczak.
In addition to Pickering, forward Luiz Fernando and defender Lucas Turci remained under contract. Midfielder Samuel Careaga, meanwhile, is set to return in the continuation of his loan from Argentine club Lanus.
"We have a very talented group of players on this roster who have shown that they can make a difference on the field and compete at the top end of the table,” said 901 FC Assistant Sporting Director Caleb Patterson-Sewell. “We are excited to welcome this group back for the 2024 season and look forward to starting preseason in early January. We want to thank the departing players for their contributions to the club and we look forward to announcing our new signings in the near future.”
The club remains in contract talks with midfielder Leston Paul and forward Rashawn Dally, while it declined its contract option on defender Jelani Peters. Meanwhile, Graham Smith, Rece Buckmaster, Aaron Molloy, Jeremy Kelly, Drew Romig, Laurent Kissiedou, and Rodrigo Da Costa are out of contract and free agents.
Memphis will have some key pieces return to AutoZone Park next season led by Hyndman and Bruno Lapa and the campaign should be a pivotal one for 18-year-old forward Nighte Pickering as he looks to push for a place in the United States U-20 Men’s National Team squad for its next cycle.
There is a lot to replace through the spine of the team, however, with two-time All-League First Team midfielder Aaron Molloy, fellow midfield standout Jeremy Kelly and experienced defenders Graham Smith and Rece Buckmaster also set to move on after playing crucial roles in the club’s emergence as an Eastern Conference contender.
After his midseason arrival, meanwhile, Rodrigo Da Costa will leave big shoes to fill in the attacking third, and might be considered a surprise to be on the move so soon after his acquisition from FC Tulsa earlier this year.