Nashville SC

The Wrap: Nashville SC 0-1 Saint Louis FC

Welcome to The Wrap, wherein I recap the content from last week’s Nashville SC game.

Local content

In-game updates and Game story:

Nashville SC held plenty of the ball against Saint Louis FC – the Boys in Gold had 63.9% possession – but couldn’t find that special moment, whereas Saint Louis FC managed to cash in on a late set piece to take down the hosts 1-0 in First Tennessee Park.

Press conference transcript and postgame column:

With just a bit more luck on that one, Nashville may be sitting on a 1-0 win this morning, rather than a loss by the opposite scoreline. Indeed, Smith sees a lack of confidence in making the pass that Kimura did as something that needs to shape up for his team, and in a hurry.

“It’s one of the best moves of the game,” he said. “A nice combination play down the flanks, a ball played with some nice feeling into a good area and a midfield player arriving late. I do believe it was from some concerted pressure, which enabled Matt to be in a much better position.

“But, in all honesty, and every team is the same, if our guys are not confident that the ball is going to be delivered into a good area, or that we can go and attack it, then it doesn’t inspire midfield players or forwards to attack dangerous zones in the penalty area.”

The voting post for the Community Ratings, and here are your results:

  • Man of the match: Goalkeeper Matt Pickens: 8.43
  • Defender Taylor Washington: 7.29
  • Defender Liam Doyle: 7.43
  • Defender Ken Tribbett: 7.43
  • Defender Kosuke Kimura: 7.29
  • Midfielder Bolu Akinyode: 6.29
  • Midfielder Matt LaGrassa: 7.29
  • Winger Kharlton Belmar: 7.38
  • Midfielder Lebo Moloto: 5.57
    Community comment: “Moloto has been pretty poor. Team needs more from its primary creator.”
  • Winger/forward Cameron Lancaster: 5.86
  • Striker Daniel Ríos: 6.43
  • Midfielder Michael Reed: 6.57
  • Forward Ropapa Mensah: 6.57
  • Forward Tucker Hume: 6.14
  • Head coach Gary Smith: 5.86
  • Overall team rating: 6.29

The GIFening is a new feature that I like, but I’m going to have to figure out a way to make it less size-intensive. If you’re a master GIF creator, feel free to reach out with some pointers. This was one of my favorite GIFs from the game:

LaGrassa Linesplitter

A pinpoint, aggressive pass. More of that please (and yes, I think LaGrassa’s contributions were underrated by the community above).

Why couldn’t Nashville SC play Cameron Lancaster where they wanted to? Why did a formation shift result in a huge possession advantage but less meaningful possession? Find out in The Graphical:

Bob Bradley as USMNT manager was derided for his “empty bucket” tactics when using a 4-4-2. Here’s why it’s called that:

Look at that water!

Access to the strikers is fairly easy to cut off when a team doesn’t have penetrating passing from the defensive midfield

I broke down two separate plays in The Film Room this week. One positive and one negative. The positive one shows some serious bright signs for the future, at least in comparison to last year’s scoring output.

I would say either of those things was probably out of Brandon Allen’s wheelhouse in terms of fluid athleticism for the play Lancaster made, and savvy (or selflessness, perhaps) for the one Ríos makes. Without either of those, this play is pretty much dead in the water.

The freedom for midfielders to make a run into the box is important, because Moloto’s opens the initial entry into the box. LaGrassa is at the top of the box, and after his layoff pass doesn’t simply sink back to maintain defensive space, but he shows a desire for the goal. That’s important.

Hopefully the team can make that pay off in future contests.


Three things that mattered from the USL’s website. Local coverage from Saint Louis. Pharmaceutical Soccer covers the loss. Speedway game story and player ratings. USA Today Network – Tennessee gamer.


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