Memphis 901 FC Head Coach Tim Mulqueen and teammates of Anna Della Rosa at Saturday's game between 901 FC and Christian Brothers University, which served as a fundraiser for Della Rosa and St. Jude Children's Hospital. | Photo courtesy Memphis 901 FC
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Saturday’s preseason contest between Memphis 901 FC and Christian Brothers University was special. Not only was it a success on the field for the expansion USL Championship side as it took a 4-1 victory, but it was an even bigger success off the field as it served as a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Anna Della Rosa, whose connections to both 901 FC and CBU brought the two sides together.
A player collegiately for CBU and one of the interns for 901 FC last year as it prepared for its launch this season, Della Rosa was recently diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. For 901 FC Sporting Director Andrew Bell, finding a way to help someone who had been key in helping build the club from the ground up was something both organizations were eager to do.
“If you remember last summer, we were running the [League Two] team and we had a couple of people, it was me and Lauren [Magdefrau] and Anna, and of course the team with Mark Franklin coaching them, and [Anna] was really helpful in making sure we could do these games,” Bell told the 901 Soccer Podcast last week. “She was running the operations on gameday with us, when Lauren wasn’t there she was basically handling the whole thing, and she’s just such a wonderfully bubbly person, and the way it was with [League Two] and with Memphis City over the past few years, everybody got involved to make it happen, a lot different than the USL [Championship] team now, but also very, very important as well.
“It helped start setting the culture for this season, so she played at CBU, she played at Houston High School, she’s an excellent soccer player and we just want to help her as best we can and honor her at her college.”
Half of the proceeds from Saturday’s game at Christian Brothers University went directly to St. Jude thanks to Della Rosa’s efforts, and the club is looking to help both Della Rosa and St. Jude in other ways as well. Before the start of preseason, a contingent of the club’s staff including Head Coach Tim Mulqueen and assistant Ben Pirrman visited the facility and donated platelets for potential use in treatments as well as getting the chance to check in on Della Rosa herself. Bell added that now with the full squad in town for the season, Mulqueen would like to do something similar with the players.
Memphis 901 FC Head Coach Tim Mulqueen donates platelets while being visited by former 901 FC intern Anna Della Rosa, who was recently diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. | Photo courtesy Memphis 901 FC
Della Rosa was unfortunately unable to attend Saturday’s game, although plenty of support for her could be seen in the stands. And after 901 FC’s victory against CBU, Mulqueen did pass on a message for Della Rosa as she continued her fight.
“We love you,” Mulqueen said. “This was for you and we look forward to you getting healthy and getting out with us as soon as you can.”
.@Memphis901FC will scrimmage @CBU_MSoc tomorrow @ noon and 1/2 of all proceeds go to St. Jude on behalf of Anna Della Rosa, a Houston HS alum recently diagnosed w/ Acute Myeloid Leukemia.— Jessica Benson (@Local24Jessica) February 15, 2019
Coach Mulqueen: "She's one of us, we love her & we just want her to get healthy." pic.twitter.com/KdTOD0ZAHB