Memphis 901 Land Dream Tie with Atlanta United in US Open Cup
Mark Spalding’s American adventure with USL Championship side Memphis 901 has a landmark date this month. The 37-year-old Football Careers client is assistant coach to fellow Scot Stephen Glass in Memphis and the double act guided their club to a 2-1 extra-time win over One Knoxville SC in the prestigious US Open Cup.
Now they have landed a thrilling third-round tie as they travel to Glass’ former employers, Major League Soccer Eastern Conference high-flyers Atlanta United, on Wednesday 26th April. It’s an exciting challenge for 901 after a tough start to their league campaign as Spalding and Glass chase a dream triumph in a tournament that is now in its 108th year.
A version of the US Open Cup has been competed for since then and in its current format, there are regional groups for every professional and amateur division which ensures clashes like this.
Spalding moved to Memphis from Scottish giants Rangers where he was Head of Intermediate Academy. UEFA Pro Licence holder Mark held a previous youth organisation Technical Director role in the USA before returning home to Scotland for the Gers job, and he brings a wealth of experience to his new role.
He graduated from the University of Stirling with a General Degree with Sports Studies in 2010 and worked as a first team coach at Dumbarton, then as assistant manager at St Mirren alongside the experienced Ian Murray.
These were key steps in the coaching journey that saw him take the plunge with his first stint in the States before the return home to Rangers.
Former Newcastle United midfielder Glass — who impressed as a coach at Atlanta before a troubled spell at his former club Aberdeen — was snapped up on a multi-year deal at Memphis at the start of the season and quickly landed Spalding to boost his staff.
As the countdown begins, Memphis returns to league action on Saturday night (15th April) at home to Las Vegas Lights.