Welcome to The Wrap, wherein I recap the content from last week’s Nashville SC game.
Doubling the advantage was more than enough, and Memphis couldn’t mount a serious attack – they only had a couple all evening, with two solid saves from Nashville keeper Matt Pickens – to pull one back.
It had been a frustrating night to that point, beginning with a 78-minute lightning delay, and 78 scoreless minutes once the match actually kicked off. Nashville fans will gladly remember the final result, rather than the tense moments that preceded it.
You’d have been forgiven if a “here we go again” sense of foreboding crept into your consciousness.
“I thought as though maybe we weren’t going to find that moment. It’s just the feeling you get standing on the line that you’ve been banging on the door for so long.”
The voting post for your community ratings, and here are the results:
- Man of the match: M Matt LaGrassa: 8.78 (tied with Ropapa Mensah, but it’s my blog so I get to cast the tiebreaking vote) Community comments:
- “Dude is a rock”
- Man of the match by a country mile.”
- GK Matt Pickens: 8.33 Community comments:
- “Not much to do…”
- “Just didn’t have a lot to do”
- D Justin Davis: 7.67 Community comment:
- “Good at skying over the box…”
- D Liam Doyle: 8.22
- D Ken Tribbett: 8.11
- D Darnell King: 8.33 Community comment:
- “Good movement and crossing”
- M Michael Reed: 7.55 Community comments:
- “Lost possession in a couple key areas that could have been big plays. Can’t find the shooting range.”
- M Lebo Moloto: 6.89 Community comment:
- “Good energy and movement”
- M Kharlton Belmar: 8.00 Community comment:
- “One on one was crazy good. Needs to finish.”
- F Tucker Hume: 7.33
- F Daniel Ríos: 7.00 Community comments:
- “Not his best”
- “Might have been because of the footing, but his worst game of the year. Better than what we saw from the position a lot of last year, though.”
- M/F Ropapa Mensah: 8.78 Community comments:
- “Good movement and goal”
- “He does things that others can’t – but it comes with making mistakes that others don’t.”
- M/F Alan Winn: 7.00
- M Bolu Akinyode: 6.67 Community comment:
- Pretty much an N/A, though his passing was off in his limited time.
- Head coach Gary Smith: 7.78 Community comments:
- “Odd choice to take Moloto off”
- “Didn’t have to manage a whole lot, just let the players play.”
- Overall team rating: 8.00 Community comments:
- “Late is better than nothing, but….”
- “Could have done better with the number of shots, but a win is a win.”
The GIFening, now with your GIF of the game (as voted upon by the readers):
A team that lets you play between the lines (like Memphis did – even though they’d upgraded talent with a few first-time players on the pitch after signing earlier in the week) also tends to leave the crucial “zone 14” open on the pitch, and Nashville SC took advantage.
They were able to get the ball into that dangerous area (highlighted in the pass map on the left), and either distribute from it or shoot (image on the right).
From the film room dives into how Nashville’s desire to play through the lines of the Memphis defense opened up major offensive opportunities.