The Wrap: Hartford Athletic 2-3 Nashville SC

Welcome to The Wrap, wherein I recap the content from last week’s Nashville SC game. NSC’s second-straight comeback victory provided plenty to talk about.

Local content

Game story:

 If not for the direction of the final score – in Nashville’s favor – Due’s eight saves would have almost certainly seen him named the unquestioned man of the match.

Instead, it was Lancaster who played hero, and Nashville who took all three points.

Game column with quotes from Nashville SC’s media relations postgame:

Midfielder Lebo Moloto ran onto a rebound in the box and blasted it home with his left foot. Once again, the game was level.

“It is special,” he said of scoring on the special occasion. “I remember last year I scored on Mother’s Day. This year it’s on Father’s Day. I’d be happy if it were Mother’s Day or Father’s Day every weekend. Maybe that way I would bang goals every weekend.”

Substitute Cameron Lancaster – who is expecting his first child this Fall – would find the match-winner. It was his second goal in as many games after missing several due to minor injuries.

“After being out injured, it’s always nice to hit the ground running, get some goals in the bones, and get the confidence up,” he said. “I’m happy I was able to come on, get a goal and help the team get three points.

“Yes, [it was special to score on Father’s Day],” he added. “Now that I know I am going to be father, scoring felt really good.”

Given Matt Pickens’s penalty save and the fact that he has some kids, I probably should have leaned even harder into the Father’s Day angle, tbqh.

The voting post for your community ratings, and here are the results (for what it’s worth, less than a quarter of the typical number of responses .Don’t forget to vote each game! Maybe I won’t forget to publish the ratings post immediately after the end of the game next time!):

  • Man of the match: F Ropapa Mensah: 8.83 Community comments:
    • “Ropapa’s been [flame emoji] since you pointed out his struggles against Indy. Just sayin’, if you want to give anyone else a boost…”
    • “Ropapa continues to bring the energy and make things happen on the field. Great passes into the box and his well timed selfless assist to Rios was a thing of beauty! Such an asset to have in the starting 11!”
  • GK Matt Pickens: 7.43
  • D Taylor Washington: 7.43
  • D Liam Doyle: 7.00
  • D Kosuke Kimura: 6.72
    • “Not his typical game, seemed a bit off compared to his usual high level performance.”
  • D Justin Davis: 6.71
  • D Darnell King: 6.71
  • M Lebo Moloto: 8.00 Community comment”
    • “His corner kicks have been on point!”
  • M Matt LaGrassa: 7.14
  • M Michael Reed: 7.00 Community comment:
    • “Anonymous… which is starting to be better than the alternative?”
  • M Kharlton Belmar (72′): 6.14
  • M Bolu Akinyode (87′): 5.86
  • F Cameron Lancaster (68′): 8.29
  • F Daniel Ríos: 7.72
  • Head coach Gary Smith: 7.43 Community comment:
    • “Five at the back when it means you have to play a fullback (who struggled) inside is questionable. Bailed out by his players – to be fair, the opposite has happened at times this year, too.”
  • Overall team rating: 7.43 Community comment:
    • “Unconvincing win.”

The Graphical:

Screen Shot 2019-06-18 at 1.39.55 PM.pngThe intensity of a high press is sometimes hard to quantify: forcing a turnover can manifest itself as a tackle or interception, but it can also look like an opponent’s inaccurate pass that sails out of bounds, with no pressing player credited statistically.

So, what I’m getting at here is I feel like both visually and statistically, we saw quite a bit more high pressure than we had… probably since the Swope Park game May 11?

Film room on how that press allowed NSC to open the scoring:

Nashville is using the strikers for what is essentially a triple purpose: to provide an extremely high line of confrontation upon which both of them can move laterally, man-marking the fullbacks if Due tries to move to find an angle to get past that line, and using their “cover shadows” (the areas behind them that can’t really be passed into because they’d be in position to intercept) to make a pass in to either of the CDMs, Nicky Downs and Mad Jørgensen, very difficult.

…and another on Nashville throwing numbers into the box to create a chance:

Nashville has built solid forays into opposing territory by working the ball up the wings and crossing. On this particular occasion, the cross doesn’t create a chance, and instead rattles around the box before Kosuke Kimura runs onto it.

Screen Shot 2019-06-19 at 9.25.35 AM.png

In other situations, Nashville may get its defenders back and settled before cycling the ball around and beginning a new offensive push. Here, though, they decide to go straight back into chance generation.

…and the GIFening.

washninjaton.2019-06-20 10_52_03

Elsewhere

NSC official site story. Hartford official site recapHartford Courant gamer. Highlights from the local news there. Speedway game story, chalkboard, and player ratings. The league’s gameday report.

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