NASHVILLE – A fallow period for Nashville SC can be considered over. The Boys in Gold scored three times within 16 minutes to open up a comfortable lead on Swope Park Rangers at First Tennessee Park.
Striker Daniel Ríos – the team’s leading scorer even though he hadn’t found twine from the run of play since a brace April 6 against Ottawa – opened things up in the sixth minute. A long free kick from left back Justin Davis was nodded across the face of goal by centerback Liam Doyle, and Ríos was there to poke it home with his right foot. He would add another in the 14th minute, heading in a cross from right winger Kharlton Belmar.
The third goal would come just two minutes later, and it would be Ríos on the assist, rather than scoring himself. A powerful run saw him shrug off a defender, then square across the top of the six-yard box, where two teammates were waiting. It would be left winger Alan Winn who collected the ball and sent it through the legs of Adrian Zendejas to make it a three-goal game.
Ríos’s brace is the fifth in USL play in Nashville SC franchise history, and he becomes the first player with two such performances (Tucker Hume had one USL brace and one in the US Open Cup during the 2018 season). With another strong half of play – if he remains in the game with pitch conditions a little slippery – he could become the club’s first hat-trick scorer.
- 6′ NSH GOAL – 14 Daniel Ríos (right-footed), assisted by 5 Liam Doyle (headed square). Goal from set piece situation.
- 14′ NSH GOAL – 14 Daniel Ríos (headed), assisted by 11 Kharlton Belmar (cross)
- 16′ NSH GOAL – 19 Alan Winn (right-footed), assisted by 14 Daniel Ríos (pass from the six-yard box)
- 39′ SPR Yellow card – 39 Jerome Ngom Mbekeli (foul)
- 45’+1 Half time