Ken Tribbett winds up to put his team on top at the half.
PITTSBURGH – Nashville SC began tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds with a major formation change, and while that may not have directly led to the team’s solid start, the Boys in Gold got just the beginning they need.
NSC was slightly outpossessed by Pittsburgh, but seemed to have the better of quality with its possession. Nashville turned 47.4% of the ball into 100% of the shots, taking six to Pittsburgh’s zero in the half. It was the final strike of the opening frame that put the Boys in Gold on top. A pair of goalmouth scrambles ensued from NSC corner kicks, and on the second, defender Ken Tribbett wound up for a half-volley and roofed the shot, giving his team the advantage at the break.
Nashville, which has run exclusively played four-man backlines this season, ran out all three centerbacks on the roster, with Bradley Bourgeois bumping out to the right while Ken Tribbett and Liam Doyle played the middle and left, respectively. It’s played as a true three-man line, with fullbacks Kosukes Kimura and Taylor Washington getting high up the pitch in offensive postures to join a midfield that adds defensive piece Bolu Akinyode to the pairing of Matt LaGrassa and Michael Reed (with that duo pushed further forward) and has dominated the center of the pitch, ceding possession but preventing the Riverhounds from getting much going offensively.
Former NSC fullback Ryan James created one of the best chances of the half for the Riverhounds, sailing in a cross from the left wing, but it was just too high to connect with anyone, including Nashville keeper Connor Sparrow.
Nashville SC won 1-0 in Highmark Stadium last season, and while they’d like to add comfort to the lead, any win in Pittsburgh – should the current scoreline hold – is historically a great result.
- 22′ NSH Yellow card – 22 Bradley Bourgeois (foul)
- 41′ NSH GOAL – 6 Ken Tribbett (right-footed half-volley), unassisted (rebound in corner kick situation)