Much like last year’s initial game in Bradenton (a 0-0 draw against the Chicago Fire), Nashville SC’s contest against the Montreal Impact didn’t provide a lot to write home about.
The first half passed with much of the action coming on corner kicks for the Boys in Gold, with a couple near-misses in the mix, per NSC social media. Five corner kicks in the half – all from captain Michael Reed – resulted in a handful of chances. So too did a couple of counter-attacks, with midfielder Lebo Moloto (back in action after missing the conclusion of the 2018 season with a knee injury) putting a shot on frame.
On the other end of the pitch, Matt Pickens was called into duty a couple times, most importantly on a free kick opportunity at the end of the first half, following an inadvertent handball just outside the box:
Both teams heavily rotated their lineups going into the second half, with two of Nashville’s players making their first (unofficial) appearances for the club in Darnell King and Malcolm Stewart, the latter of whom lined up at center back.
Again, there wasn’t a ton of action, until after another round of Nashville subs (Kharlton Belmar and Taylor Washington returned after being taken off at the half), and a 30-plus-yard strike from Montreal centerback Zakaria Diallo finally put Montreal on the board in the 71st. Harry Novillo chested and half-volleyed a cross from fellow halftime sub Ken Krolicki to provide the final 2-0 score.
Nashville fans hoping to see the squad’s two most notable offseason signings will have to keep waiting: forwards Daniel Ríos and Cameron Lancaster both failed to see the field. Are they being held out due to injury (Ríos has had minor knocks in preseason camp, while Lancaster has an injury history)? Are they being saved for Nashville to potentially send a message to reigning USL champ Louisville Saturday?
We’ll have to wait until then to find out.
- 45′ – Half time
- 46′ – NSH substitutions:
- On 24 Connor Sparrow, off 18 Matt Pickens
- On 2 Justin Davis, off 23 Taylor Washington
- On 22 Bradley Bourgeois, off 5 Liam Doyle
- On 4 Malcolm Stewart, off 6 Ken Tribbett
- On 21 Darnell King, off 27 Kosuke Kimura
- On 30 Bolu Akinyode, off 17 Michael Reed
- On 20 Matt LaGrassa, off 10 Lebo Moloto
- On 7 Ramone Howell, off 19 Alan Winn
- On 3 Ropapa Mensah, off 11 Kharlton Belmar
- 46′ – MTL substitutions:
- On 41 James Pantemis, off 1 Evan Bush
- On 27 Clement Bayiha, off 15 Zachary Brault-Guillard
- On 4 Rudy Camacho, off 92 Èmile Legault
- On 33 Bacary Sagna, off 22 Jukka Raitala
- On 32 Michael Azira, of 6 Samuel Piette
- On 13 Ken Krolicki, off 8 Saphir Taïder
- On 28 Shamit Shome, off 87 Amar Sejdic
- On 29 Mathieu Choinière, off 17 Davis Choinière
- On 11 Anthony Jackson-Hamel, off 37 Maxi Urruti
- On 7 Harry Novillo, off 88 Chris Wehan
- 63′ – NSH Substitutions:
- On 11 Kharlton Belmar, off 12 Tucker Hume
- On 23 Taylor Washington, off 99 Vinnie Vermeer
- 71′ – MTL GOAL – 5 Zakaria Diallo (unassisted long-range strike)
- 80′ – MTL GOAL – 7 Harry Novillo (volley), assisted by 13 Ken Krolicki
- 90′ – Full time