Bluff City beckons on Tuesday night as the Switchbacks make their way east to face Memphis 901 FC at AutoZone Park. The match will be broadcast live by the voice of the Switchbacks, Ryan Kaufman, on XTRA Sports 1300 AM and xtrasports1300.com, with coverage beginning at 5:30pm MT.
A magnificent man-of-the-match performance from Andre Lewis propelled the Switchbacks to a 4-2 win over Hartford Athletic on Galactic Night. The Jamaican scored twice in Saturday’s victory that also saw Hadji Barry extend his lead atop the USL Championship’s scoring charts after notching his club record-breaking 15th goal of the season. Michee Ngalina also scored in the win that moved the Switchbacks into 3rd place in the Mountain Division.
“I’ve been waiting and it meant a lot,” said Andre Lewis when asked about his brace. Lewis was desperately unlucky to not register a third goal following a stunning save from Hartford’s Jeff Caldwell. “I think I did everything right – I hit it well but he made a really good save,” added the Switchbacks’ #77. “I’ve been wanting to get on the score sheet to help out the team and it couldn’t have been a better night. Now we have to prepare our minds for the trip on Tuesday, do what’s right, and make sure we go for it.”
“Dre should have had a hat trick tonight – he got robbed by the keeper,” said Switchbacks Head Coach Brendan Burke immediately following Saturday’s win. “He was excellent and his movement has been excellent for us. He’s been knocking on the door to have goals and assists start to flow. He just missed [scoring] in Loudoun twice, so I wasn’t surprised to see him chip in and I’m really happy to have another guy clicking now.”
“Andre was great – not just the two goals, but moving the ball around, getting to places all over the field, getting tackles in; he was all over the place and was great for us,” said Sebastian Anderson. “The atmosphere and the fans were great, and it was good to come out with a win.”
Saturday’s win marked the third match in a week for a Switchbacks team that now has just two days to recover and prepare before Tuesday’s contest in Tennessee. “We definitely have to get some recovery in,” said Sebastian Anderson. “It’s important to do what the body tells you to do – get some cold tub, hot tub – whatever we need to the quick turnaround. It’s going to be a big game away on Tuesday and our preparation begins now. It was big to get three points. We’ll work hard on preparing for Memphis, do some video, and work as hard as we can on our recovery.”
“We’re through the first three games of this stretch and now it’s an opportunity to just kind of drop back and reassess who’s feeling good and watch how guys recover into Monday and then make some decisions going into Tuesday,” said Head Coach Burke. “Now our attention turns to Memphis, but we’re always keeping an eye on everyone in the league anyway, so we have a good framework for who their guys are and how they like to play. We’re a very process-oriented staff and group of players, so we’ll prepare for Memphis in the exact same way that we would if we had an entire week before the game. A lot of work will get jammed into a short period of time.”
Kyle Murphy leads Memphis 901 in goals with eight after the former Clemson Tiger scored Memphis’ lone goal in a 4-1 loss to the Oklahoma City Energy FC on Saturday night at Taft Stadium. Ivorian midfielder Laurent Kissiedou, who has started all 14 of Memphis’ games in 2021, was sent off midway through the first half of the loss to OKC and will be suspended for the match against the Switchbacks.
“I think what you have in Memphis are some good individuals – guys that [Head Coach] Ben [Pirmann] has done a really good job recruiting,” said Switchbacks Head Coach Brendan Burke. “Me and Ben have been friends since his time at Michigan State and I have a lot of respect for what he’s been able to do on a smallish budget this year. He’s been able to pull a real playoff contender together in a very short space of time.”
The road trip continues after Tuesday’s match, with the Switchbacks heading to South Texas to face the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros at H-E-B Park in Edinburg on Saturday. The following weekend the Switchbacks will travel to The Queen City to play Charlotte Independence at American Legion Memorial Stadium on August 21st.
The Switchbacks return to Weidner Field on August 28th to host the Austin Bold on Bucket Hat Night, presented by Pikes Peak National Bank. Tickets for the match against Austin are available HERE.