Welcome to The Wrap, wherein I recap the content from last week’s Nashville SC game. Since there’s been some serious fixture congestion, this comes after NSC has played another game. I won’t have the full suite of postgame coverage for the US Open Cup opener, so look for the Swope Park Wrap Thursday or Friday.
The Rowdies went into the break with the lead, and a defensive second half ensued. In fact, Tejada’s goal would prove to be the lone tally in a 1-0 Rowdies win.
Nashville SC attempted to pour on the pressure, launching six shots. However, only one – a strike from distance by midfield substitute Lebo Moloto – was on the frame of goal, and the lefty blast was easily corralled by Rowdies keeper John McCarthy.
The two best chances – free headers from the edge of the six-yard box by Kharlton Belmar and Daniel Ríos – were flicked just wide of the frame, when either could have been a game-changer.
“There is no doubt about it: we have to do more,” Smith said. “That’s on the shoulders of everyone. That’s attacking players to find a moment to be a difference-maker: to step forward and make a difference.”
- Man of the match: D Ken Tribbett (tied with GK Matt Pickens. My blog; I break the ties): 6.90
- GK Matt Pickens: 6.90 Community comment:
- “His team really wants to hang him out to dry a couple times a game.“
- D Bradley Bourgeois: 6.60 Community comment:
- “Iffy on the ball at times”
- D Justin Davis 6.40
- D Taylor Washington: 6.20 Community comments:
- “Sloppy with fouls”
- “Pretty good besides the foul that led to their score.”
- D Darnell King: 5.90
- M Matt LaGrassa: 6.00
- M Bolu Akinyode: 5.90
- M Michael Reed: 5.20 Community comments:
- “His touch has to improve”
- “I’m sorry. Wtf is his job in this team??”
- F Daniel Ríos: 5.90 Community comment:
- “Worst game of the year. Let too many passes go right by him.“
- F Kharlton Belmar: 5.50 Community comments:
- How the hell did he miss that?
- Muted in 2nd half
- M Lebo Moloto: 5.70
- F Cameron Lancaster: 5.30 Community comment
- “Totally unimpactful”
- F Alan Winn: 5.20
- Head coach Gary Smith: 7.25 Community comments:
- Even if there are individual mistakes that he doesn’t have control over, he’s the one putting the players out there no matter how many mistakes they make.
- How long will he last next year?
- I’d give a 0 if I could.
- Overall team rating: 5.30 Community comments:
- Ref rating: 2
- Classic Gary game
One last thing, again with a bit of overlap from the previous sections, because I think thematically, we’re honing in on what made the game turn out the way it did. Here are Nashville’s passes from Zone 14
That’s a couple key passes leading to very long shots, one key pass into the box, and otherwise mostly incomplete passes into the box, or complete ones pushing it laterally or even backwards. Again, that combines with the above-mentioned factoids.
What happened on those incomplete passes though? …It seemed all too frequent that they were reasonably accurate, and the intended recipient either didn’t expect the ball, or expected another runner coming in behind him.
Film room on Tampa Bay’s goal:
I’m fairly certain one of Tribbett or Davis is supposed to be marking Tejada… because he’s ultimately left unmarked.
Reed is beaten by Guenzatti, who gets a free header by having the unimpeded run to the back post, and LaGrassa can’t rise high enough to deny him the header back across. Tejada is left alone as Davis and Tribbett both get inside the frame of the goal, and neither can rise up to head Tejada’s ball off the line.
No voting on GIF of the game, but here are the clips.
Photos from The Tennessean, along with a gamer from the homie Luis Torres. Nashville SC official site recap and a little more in-depth story. Tampa Bay Times recap. USL site recap. Speedway game story, chalkboard, and player ratings.