Legion FC returns home to the friendly confines of Protective Stadium riding high after a huge team win at Phoenix Rising FC over the weekend, the first time since 2018 Phoenix was shutout and lost at home. The forward momentum comes at an opportune time for the Three Sparks, as a heated rivalry is renewed on Wednesday night when the team at the top of the USL Championship standings, Memphis 901 FC, comes to town.
Legion FC midfielder Prosper Kasim’s fourth goal of the year proved to be the game winner at PHX and gives him the most on the team, to go along with being tied for the team lead in assists (two), first on the team in shots (24) and second in chances created (25). Kasim’s performance Saturday earned him a spot on the USLC Team of the Week for Week 13.
The other two people involved in the goal Saturday, midfielder Enzo Martinez and defender Jonny Dean, have combined with Kasim to form the creative hub of the side this season, with Martinez tops in chances created at 27, and Dean just behind with 20. The trio will look to spring forwards Juan Agudelo, Marlon Santos and Edi Horvat to propel the Legion FC attack.
The team’s defense has been strong in 2022 with the fourth fewest goals conceded in the USLC this season (12) and has allowed just three goals in its last six games. Goalkeeper Matt VanOekel is fifth in the league in saves (35) and tied for fifth in the league in shutouts (four) this season. In front of the man between the sticks, center back Alex Crognale has been a rock and leads the team in clearances (44) and interceptions (19). For his efforts in the weekend’s shutout, Crognale joined Kasim on the USLC TOTW.
Legion FC’s defense will have to keep up the good work Wednesday as Memphis comes to BHM as the hottest team in the league, riding a five-match winning streak, and sitting at the top of the league table on 28 points. The rivals from up I-22 ride an attack that is tied for second best in the league in goals scored this season (27), with 17 goals scored in its last five games, and is tied with Legion for the fourth fewest allowed.
Forward Phillip Goodrum is tied for third in the league and leads the team in goals scored with seven in his first season in Memphis after coming over from Atlanta United 2. Jeremy Kelly is first in assists (six), and Laurent Kissiedou is tops in shots (24) and chances created (19).
The record between these two clubs could hardly be closer all-time as each side has three wins to go with four draws, and Memphis is the opponent Birmingham has played more than any other since both club’s inception in 2019.
Defender Freddy Kleemann is out (torn ACL) to make up the UAB Medicine Injury Report, while midfielder Anderson Asiedu is questionable, and midfielder Bruno Lapa is out.
The Three Sparks kick off a summer road tour after this game, starting with a tilt at New Mexico on Saturday, June 25 at 8:00pm CT. Tune in to watch the match on My68 or ESPN+, and follow along @bhmlegion on twitter for live match updates!
Legion FC will return home to Protective Stadium on Saturday, July 23 to kick off a big fall of soccer in Birmingham with a contest versus Eastern Conference foe FC Tulsa at 6:30pm, and fans can grab your tickets today!
For team updates, news and more, follow @bhmlegion on social media, sign up for Legion FC’s Newsletter, or visit bhmlegion.com. The Legion FC app is also available for download via Apple or Android. For gameday reminders, sync the Legion FC 2022 schedule to your calendar HERE.