Welcome to The Wrap, wherein I recap the content from last week’s Nashville SC game. The Boys in Gold couldn’t solve the final piece against North Carolina FC Saturday.
After just two shots in the opening 39 minutes, they launched 14 over the remainder of the game, including nine from inside the box and four on-target.
What they couldn’t do, though, was put the ball in the back of the net, and North Carolina FC took the 1-0 victory. Falling on the road to a team that’s been in the playoff positions since the season began is hardly something to be ashamed of. The fashion in which it happened – a total inability to find the back of the net – is going to be particularly frustrating because it hasn’t been characteristic of this team since early in the year.
The game column with quotes from the postgame provided by NSC media relations:
n the end, the first-half tally was enough as North Carolina FC took home the 1-0 victory.
“I thought we were by far the better team in the second half,” Smith said. “But tonight the goal scoring abilities and prowess of the group deserted us, and sadly we failed to keep our goal intact yet again. Those days are going to come along and it’s got to be a combined effort.”
Failing to keep the goal intact was a group effort, but keeper Connor Sparrow – who made two spectacular saves in the portion of the first half in which his net was under siege – was hardly the primary guilty party.
The voting post for your community ratings, and here are the results (don’t forget to vote each game!):
- Man of the match: GK Connor Sparrow: 8.40 Community comment:
- “Some great saves”
- D Bradley Bourgeois: 7.60 Community comment:
- “Good in the middle”
- D Darnell King: 7.00
- D Liam Doyle: 6.60
- “Has been off lately”
- D Justin Davis: 6.00
- “Didn’t like having to slide him back out to FB mid-game but it worked out fine.”
- D Kosuke Kimura: 5.60
- M Lebo Moloto: 6.60
- M Michael Reed: 6.00
- M Bolu Akinyode: 5.20 Community comment:
- F Daniel Ríos: 6.80 Community comment:
- “Sometimes the only player who looked like he wanted it.”
- F Cameron Lancaster: 6.40 Community comment:
- M Alan Winn (39′): 6.00 Community comment:
- “Was the piece the team needed, but didn’t live up to the level of performance they needed”
- M/F Kharlton Belmar (70′): 6.00
- F Ropapa Mensah (77′): 5.80
- Head coach Gary Smith: 6.00 Community comments:
- “Straight-up bungled the tactics for the first time in a while”
- “Actually thought he was alright despite the 1-0 loss. Made good adjustments, just wish he would’ve put LaGrassa and/or Vermeer out there to possibly improve our struggling midfield.”
- Overall team rating: 5.80 Community comments:
- “Good possession. Just couldn’t finish tonight.”
Is that because Nashville couldn’t possess the ball through the midfield, or is it the reason Nashville couldn’t possess the ball through the midfield?
I don’t know the answer for sure, but North Carolina was dominant in possession in those first 39 minutes, and Nashville SC’s outside backs stayed deep in their own end. With just three central midfielders to cover the width of the pitch – and no outlets closer to the touchlines, unlike in previous games – you can certainly see what happened, if not which part caused which.
The GIFening probably encapsulates NSC fans’ feelings about the result:
Nashville SC official site recap. North Carolina FC official site recap. Speedway recap. NC State’s student paper, The Technician, covers NCFC (even during the summer!), which I think is cool. Other local NC coverage.