Memphis Soccer Announces 2009 Spring Slate
Jan. 16, 2009
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis men's soccer program announced their 2009 spring schedule on Friday morning after securing a match against FC Dallas of Major League Soccer. The match between the U of M and FC Dallas will take place on February 14, at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas, and will mark the fifth meeting between the two programs.
"We are really pleased to continue a relationship between our program at the University of Memphis and the club at FC Dallas," said Memphis head coach Richie Grant. "It is very exciting for our program and our players to get the opportunity to start the spring with a match against an opponent from MLS. We have played this game since 2003 and are excited to continue the series this season. This year we are particularly pleased to have the opportunity to play this match because it looks to provide a good test for our young squad as we prepare for the fall season."
In the last meeting between Memphis and FC Dallas, the Tigers put up a fight against their opponent from MLS, but ultimately fell, 2-0. This year's match between the two squads will feature a familiar face on the sidelines for FC Dallas. Schellas Hyndman, the former head coach for the SMU Mustangs, will have the opportunity to face his former Conference USA foe for the first time as the head coach for FC Dallas. Hyndman picked up five wins over the U of M while coaching at SMU. He took over the Dallas franchise on June 17, 2008, after spending 24 seasons as the Mustangs' head coach. This season marked the first year Memphis picked up a win over Hyndman's former SMU team. Senior Michael Coburn's header in the overtime period catapulted the Tigers to a 2-1, victory over SMU, who was ranked No. 15 at the time of the match.
This year's version of the U of M soccer team will look to replace Coburn and five other seniors who played their final matches in the Blue and Gray last fall. The Tigers will feature a much younger line-up in 2009. Though young, the U of M does not lack experience. Richie Grant's squad will have 10 players who saw significant playing time during the 2008 season. The team will be led by five seniors including forward Brian Farrell, defender Rick Alleman and goalkeeper Michael Goodlett. They will be joined by several battle-tested sophomores who will look to fill increased roles during the spring. The group of sophomores is led by Parker Duncan, the team's leading goal-scorer (6) and points leader (13). Duncan is joined by midfielders Cody McCoy and Thomas Shannon, as sophomores who will play significant roles in the future of the program.
Along with the match against FC Dallas, the Tigers' spring schedule will also include the Tim McCage Cup on March 1, which will pit the U of M against other Mid-South insitutions including; Rhodes, Lambuth and Christian Brothers.
In their second match of the spring season, Tigers' will face-off on March 21 with 2008 NAIA National Champion Bethel College of McKenzie, Tenn., at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex. Bethel finished the 2008 season with a record of 17-5-2.
Following the match with Bethel, the U of M will take on Irish prep program Colaiste Ide on March 27. Colaiste Ide has provided several players for Memphis over the past several years including current Tigers, Brian Farrell and Rory O'Connor. Colaiste Ide also produced Memphis head coach Richie Grant.
The U of M will finish the spring slate on the road in Lexington, Ky., with matches with Dayton and Cincinnati. Dayton's season ended at the 2008 NCAA Tournament with a loss to Illinois-Chicago. The Flyers finished the season with a record of 15-4-3. Cincinnati posted a record of 7-12-2 in 2008.
2009 Memphis Spring Schedule
February 14- FC Dallas- Frisco, Texas- 10:00 a.m.