Photo from file in the pre-social distancing era. A long-lost time that survives only in oral lore passed down through generations.
Tim Sullivan/For Club and Country.
It’s been a long time since we’ve had an opportunity to evaluate Nashville SC players on the field. That changed yesterday. With that, a return to player ratings!
Man of the match: Defender Taylor Washington – 9.10
Washington immediately showed off proper CDC-approved coughing technique, demonstrating a Migos-worthy dab. He also arrived with a custom mask, showing a dedication to proper coverage of the nose and mouth outside of the home.
While his dribbling technique saw the ball get a little bit loose and far from his body at times, his bar-down shot to close the session’s video was impressive.
Midfielder Dax McCarty – 8.75
McCarty’s penchant for vocal leadership showed up in a major way. Shouting “we’re back!” demonstrated his own awareness, as well as his desire to make sure teammates are all on the same page with strong verbal communication.
His wall-ball technique was strong, including a half-Cruyff turn that allowed him to play to an opposite direction very quickly.
Defender Dave Romney – 8.23
Romney’s arrival showed the positives and negatives of the left-footed player’s ambidexterity. He showed the ability to make maximum use of his left hand, carrying his shoes, two water bottles, a soccer ball, and his shoes. That also freed up his right hand to work on his technique, getting a strong feel for the second ball he brought with him.
Defender Dan Lovitz – 7.84
Lovitz showed good power and attention to detail shooting his knees high running ladder drills. He took a strong shot with his weaker right foot, showing that he has the ability to tuck inside.
The pièce de résistance was shaving his facial hair to leave only a mustache, which makes him look a little like the character Pedro from 2004 hit comedy Napoleon Dynamite.
Midfielder Alistair Johnston – 7.50
Johnston displayed a solid scissor technique, as well as a strong passing/shooting technique with his instep. For a player who is most known for his speed – and without the setting that allows him to display that speed – it was an exceptional two-second clip to round out his skillset.
Defender Eric Miller – 7.22
Miller showed his intelligence to conserve energy starting his workout with a light jog. A faster pace of movement could be helpful in future contests, though.
Midfielder Matt LaGrassa – 7.18
LaGrassa’s patience was on full display. He didn’t panic off the ball while waiting for his temperature to be taken prior to taking the field. He also showed an important intelligence when it comes to hand coverage, leaving his left sleeve extended past the wrist, which was definitely a virus-aware move and totally unrelated to the temperature at the practice facility.
Defender Jalil Anibaba – 6.55
While LaGrassa showed impressive risk aversion, Anibaba may have swung too far in the other direction. Taking risks from the defensive position – namely, practicing with his AirPods in, risking one or both falling out to be stepped on – can be a major negative.
Striker Daniel Ríos – 6.42
A disappointing day for Ríos started with a display of a weak left foot: it took him a couple tries to get his shoe over the heel and in position to be tied. While his precise footwork in drills made up for that, his right-footed shot lacked a bit of power.