Zach Ryan netted two goals and delivered an assist to help lead Loudoun United FC to a 3-1 win over host Memphis 901 FC on March 11 in the 2023 USL Championship season opener for both teams.
Loudoun United scored twice within the first 12 minutes of play and added an insurance goal in second-half stoppage time to earn the road win and secure three points.
“Really proud of the guys to get three points ... they stepped up and made crucial plays on both sides of the ball,” LUFC head coach Ryan Martin said. “Fantastic start to the match and made key plays to close it out. The guys have been working tremendously hard so it’s amazing to be rewarded with three points.”
Panos Armenakas, Kalil ElMedkhar, Hugo Fauroux, Wesley Leggett, Yanis Leerman, Aidan Rocha, Koa Santos, Cole Turner, Tommy Willamson and Ryan each made their Loudoun United debut.
Ryan assisted on Williamson’s goal in the eighth minute before netting his first goal off an assist from Kalil ElMedkhar just three minutes later.
“The team is obviously thrilled, not only in the win, but to have shown our capabilities in moments,” Ryan said. “We played quick and were organized ... a great result and a lot to improve on.”
Memphis cut the deficit in half on Laurent Kissiedou’s goal in the 37th minute. Loudoun was able to make the one-goal lead stand throughout the second half and iced the game on Ryan’s second goal four minutes into stoppage time.
Abdoul Zanne sent a nice cross into the box for Ryan to put the finishing touches on the 3-1 victory. Fauroux earned the win in goal for the Red-and-White, registering four saves.
“It was a great team win ... I thought we were strong, not only offensively but defensively,” Williamson said. “Of course, I’m really happy to get the first goal of the season and kick that off. I think it’s really important for a forward to find a goal early and get that confidence.”
Loudoun United (1-0) will play its home opener March 19 against reigning league champion San Antonio FC (1-0). Kick off is set for 3:45 p.m. at Segra Field in Leesburg. Ticket information at loudoununitedfc.com/tickets/
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