After each USL game, I provide a handy recap of all the content related to that outing so you can find everything you need to get knowledgable about what went down. As always, if I missed anything, hit the comments, or the inbox via Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail.
While Nashville would have chances, neither team would find the game-winner (at least a game-winner that counted) and split the points in the Holy City.
“It’s tinged with a little disappointment that we didn’t take all three points,” said head coach Gary Smith. “It was a solid performance; we are in a good run of form right now. There were one or two moments where we could have had more quality around the box, but the guys have shown a professional attitude on the road. Once we wake up in the morning with another road point we’ll be delighted.”
No chance to pull ahead was closer than Taylor Washington’s 69th-minute header – which actually found the back of the net, but was called back on what appeared to be minimal contact – and a foul on Washington.
Michael Reed 14.77 (95 minutes) – Community rating: 7.00
Man of the Match
I’ve been a bit of a skeptic of Reed at times – he’s a decent player, right-place right-time, but rarely a difference-maker. In this game, with not a whole lot of offensive fireworks either way, his steady play in the middle was able to earn him man-of-the-match honors. The central midfield had plays to be made against the 3-4-3 formation, and Reed made them. He had a bit of a playmaking flair with a couple nice backheels that I wouldn’t have expected out of him, and on the basis of high involvement without the big mistake, he earns the honor.
Film room on why Nashville SC’s gameplan was dependent on firing a lot of crosses into the box (and how that will continue to apply this evening):
See this animation as Mensah is only picked up by the left centerback as the ball is played, while Moloto is unmarked in the box, aside from a defensive midfielder who’s tentatively trailing him, and the middle centerback who would have to react very quickly and close a ton of space if the ball goes to No. 10:
This zonal marking and evening-up of the numbers makes for a really complicated set of communications, shifts, and responsibility changes during the course of the play for the defense.
Was a fun one to write, for sure.
Elsewhere – Blogdom
Soccer n Sweet Tea recaps the game. I found nothing from the Nashville side of things other than what appeared on this site, so I’ll plug it all again: scroll up and click through, y’all.