Welcome to The Wrap, wherein I recap the content from last week’s Nashville SC game. The Boys in Gold gave up a tying goal late against Ottawa Fury.
A Justin Davis corner kick in the 55th probably could have been finished by either Ropapa Mensah or Matt LaGrassa, but Mensah won the high-jump contest to beat LaGrassa to the ball, and his forehead banged it past Irving.
Just moments after Mensah exited the lineup at the conclusion of a strong shift, the man who replaced him would score for the third time in three games. Striker Cameron Lancaster set a single-season scoring record in USL play with 26 marks for Louisville City last year, but an injury-plagued 2019 saw him struggle to recapture that form early in the year. His fourth of the season ends any discussion that he’s lost the magic. After receiving a pass from Ríos, he dribbled through an attempted tackle, and easily slotted the ball past Irving to give Nashville the lead.
“I saw him chop, and then score an unbelievable goal,” Nashville striker Cameron Lancaster said of the tally by Fall. “To be fair, they’ve had three unbelievable goals, and there’s not really too much that we could have done about it. Which is disappointing in itself, but that’s football.”
The defensive effort dampened what should have been an exciting offensive match – the third straight with at least three goals for by Nashville – and a performance by the strikers that gives them confidence going forward.
The voting post for your community ratings, and here are the results (don’t forget to vote each game!):
- Man of the match: F Daniel Ríos: 8.15 (tied with Mensah, but it’s my blog so I get to cast the tiebreaking vote) Community comments:
- “An absolute force in the 18 once again. Showing his class and why he’s already locked up an MLS contract”
- GK Matt Pickens: 6.14. Community comments:
- Are we ready to accept that Sparrow is the better every-game keeper and transition Pickens out a little bit?
- Some good moments but the free kick goal was a horrible jump and he needed to stop the bouncer from 30 yards
- D Kosuke Kimura: 7.57 Community comment:
- “Dangerous crosses, solid defense once again”
- D Justin Davis: 7.29 Community comment:
- “Good job with the pace of Ottawa’s attack as much as possible and good services when needed”
- D Darnell King: 7.14 Community comment:
- “Solid overall nothing spectacular to either side”
- D Taylor Washington: 6.86 Community comment:
- “Crosses were sporadic all night”
- D Liam Doyle: 6.29 Community comment:
- Thought he was playing well surprised he was subbed off (and then Bourgeois played a role in both later Ottawa goals)
- Played really well except the foul…. misses playing next to Tribbett badly
- D Bradley Bourgeois (46′ – usually I stick the subs together at the end, but since he played half the game, it’s informative to put him next to Doyle): 6.14 Community comment:
- Can’t give up a goal < 5 minutes after being subbed on to stop that exact moment…
- M Lebo Moloto: 7.57 Community comment:
- “Pretty solid night creating good chances“
- M Matt LaGrassa: 7.00
- “A couple games in a row where he has been just a guy out there.”
- “Solid game hope the knock he took wasn’t too serious”
- “First bad game”
- M Michael Reed: 6.43 Community comment:
- “Decent day, a couple overruns that could have been costly “
- F Ropapa Mensah: 8.15 Community comment:
- “Just like at Hartford, was a menace to stop and should have had at least a brace if not a hat trick tonight.”
- F Cameron Lancaster (70′): 8.00 Community comment:
- Come in, bang in a goal. Just another day at the office for Lancaster. 10 on the goal celebration though.
- M/F Kharlton Belmar (83′): 6.14 Community comment:
- “Decent for the cameo appearance.”
- Head coach Gary Smith: 7.00 Community comments:
- Doyle sub was a panic move
- Didn’t like taking off Kimura for Belmar but good night for the gaffer
- Overall team rating: 7.14 Community comment:
- “I miss Ken Tribbett……… offense looks incredible and continues to be an elite USL attack. “
I’m having a hard time sussing out of the stats whether there was much tangible difference between Liam Doyle and Bradley Bourgeois. While the former had far more defensive involvement, that’s probably also because of the shift in strategy for both teams that saw Ottawa possess less overall in the second half (and therefore fewer opportunities, particularly in the defensive end, to make any of those plays).
That’s seven defensive involvements for Doyle, and just one for Bourgeois in the entire second half. A less involved style of play, or less work available to find out there?
Ottawa had 11 passes intended for a recipient inside the box (three of which were corner kicks) in the first half, completing three of them. They had just six in the second half, completing only two of them. Additionally, they had a ton less of the ball near the top of Nashville SC’s penalty area, whether passing into “Zone 14” or passing from that key area just outside the center of the box.
Film room on what went wrong for Ottawa’s final goal:
Oh no! Left back Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé makes a run into the box, occupying Kimura. This means LaGrassa has to slide quickly to cover Fall, who is on the ball. A nice individual effort from Fall uses LaGrassa’s momentum against him, and the ball is in the back of the net.
The shot is nice, but from that distance and angle, a keeper really should have a shot at it. Unlike much of his defense (which didn’t react to the switch of play basically at all), Matt Pickens seemed to overreact to it – potentially because he, like Kimura, was concerned about Gagnon-Laparé – and doesn’t manage to get a hand on it.
No full GIFening this week because I’d planned to space out content like there was a midweek game (and of course that game got canceled)
NSC official site story. Local coverage from Ottawa. “Nashville SC is not piling up wins” is a weird take on a team that has the second-highest number of wins in the conference. Speedway gamer. It’s impossible (even when specifically looking for it!) to find USA Today Network – Tennessee‘s coverage, so I’m not putting in the extra effort for that anymore.