Welcome to The Wrap, running through all the postgame content after Nashville SC’s four-point weekend against FC Dallas. I’ll admit there’s typically going to be more local content, but the nature of the two-game weekend and Nashville SC’s local-carriage fiasco made it tough.
FC Dallas 0-1 Nashville SC
All it takes is one. David Accam entered the game for Nashville in the 82nd minute, and managed one shot. Coming at the end of an impressive run on the ball, that shot (and perhaps a slight deflection) was all Nashville needed.
Past the keeper, into the net. One goal, three points.
After five months off, though, the team was simply happy to be on the field – and particularly so, given the result.
“It’s amazing,” Accam said. “It’s a great feeling, because I haven’t had this in a long time. Last year and this year’s been really tough for me and my family with everything. With the tornado, the virus, everything. I was just happy to be on the field, and it’s a bonus to score and also help the team get our first win of the season.”
After racking up the first three points in MLS history for the club, certainly they’ll take a moment to enjoy the victory. But it’ll be on to the next one in short order.
“We’ll definitely enjoy the win tonight, and then tomorrow we’ll be back in and then we’ll start preparing for Sunday,” said Willis, presumably with a massive grin that only his surgical mask could obscure.
I went into the film room to break down David Accam’s goal, and how it happened.
Here’s the portion of the play that precedes Accam’s receipt of the McCarty pass:
Nothing really goes horrifically wrong [for Dallas], but plenty of things go wrong enough that not being perfect at the back – and Cannon staying high to pressure McCarty while Tessman recovers slowly after pressuring Aníbal Godoy – is enough to turn this into a Nashville goal.
The voting post for your community ratings, and the results (thanks to a greater proportion of folks than usual leaving comments, I’m only publishing select ones. Still, shouts to the person who wrote “we won” for every player’s comment):
- Man of the Match: CB Walker Zimmerman: 8.95. Community comments:
- “we won (he saved our ass many times)”
- “He’s the man at the back, made some outstanding plays and positioning on every Dallas break was pristine!”
- GK Joe Willis: 8.69. Community comments:
- “Absolutely Amazing!!”
- “10 for a clean sheet. Is that how this works?”
- “Did everything necessary and couldn’t have done anything better”
- “Good position all night. Made tha saves he needed to and was always exactly where he needed to be.”
- “Perfect Performance (MOTM w/o the historic Goal)”
- D Dan Lovitz: 6.87 Community comment:
- “Solid defensively made some decisive plays in dangerous places and was also bright moving forward, sent in a cross that could’ve been the winner.”
- D Dave Romney: 6.82 Community comments:
- “Solid play, I think there was a couple slip-ups that could’ve been costly but he played well.”
- “I hate how his first instinct is to just clear the ball.”
- D Brayan Beckeles: 5.59 Community comments:
- “Was a bright spot in the first half although picking up a yellow sucked some wind out of his sails…”
- “Those challenges were terrible decisions”
- “Sloppy passing combined with reckless defending”
- M Dax McCarty: 7.21 Community comment:
- “Solid and just fun to watch a little leprechaun pulling the strings, he did have a couple sloppy give aways though…”
- M Anibal Godoy: 7.05 Community comments:
- “He may get the game ball in midfield, he was making tackles, breaking up play, moving the ball forward, spreading it around, everything you want for your DM…”
- “Such a calming presence in the center of the park”
- M/F Randall Leal: 6.85 Community comments:
- “Looked the most lively up top, maybe he should’ve passed to Muktar on that one play where he chose to shoot, but sometimes you want your players to be goal hungry and he did take a good shot…”
- “Needs to get the ball in dangerous areas more often”
- M/F Hany Mukhtar: 6.59 Community comments:
- “More impressive defensively than offensively. I respect a man that puts in the work both ways, it wasn’t his night going forward although I wonder what he could’ve done if Leal would’ve put him through in the first half?”
- “Not nearly dangerous enough”
- “Clearly our best attacker. He needs help.”
- “Great first half, but needed to get off sooner”
- “Lost the #10 is big on him”
- M/F Derrick Jones: 5.33 Community comments:
- “I think he was pretty good seemed dangerous but looked as if he was lazily holding back and not pushing for it up top, glad he was replaced by the goal scorer.”
- “ACM is not his position”
- “Very bad game”
- F Daniel Ríos: 5.69 Community comments:
- “Didn’t show enough, did hold the ball up once for good play going forward.”
- “Lacked good service, but did not find pockets of space well either.”
- “Looked like a player who hasn’t played in six months”
- D Alistair Johnston (67′ sub): 6.41
- M/F Abu Danladi (67′ sub): 6.15
- F Dominique Badji (75′ sub): 6.00 Community comment:
- “Always looks dangerous and provided some distraction for the goal perhaps.”
- M/F David Accam (81′ sub): 8.62 Community comments:
- we won (he scored the goal!)
- Couldn’t ask for anything better!
- He is good.
- M Matt LaGrassa (81′ sub): 5.64
- Head coach Gary Smith (acting coach Steve Guppy): 6.37
- “Classic Gary game even with him not there. Not pretty but it works”
- “Poor execution of virus defense strategies. Good soccer defense strategies though.”
- “Should be a 0 for c0vid”
- “The team has looked solid every game, finishing has been the only question and it happened tonight! Nice subs, nicely timed and well rewarded.”
- Overall team rating: 7.33
MLSSoccer.com recap from Ari Liljenwall. Beckeles-oriented story out of Honduras, and an Accam story with a Ghana focus. ESPN story. Four takeaways from Andrew Wiebe. Gamer and game column from The Tennessean. Game story and player ratings from Broadway.
Very congratulatory story about an extremely boilerplate statement out of the Hunts after a smattering of FC Dallas fans booed their own team. Surely if those same fans had been close enough to see this, they’d have given Dax McCarty similar-but-different grief. Local news story on the more pandemic-y implications of those fans in the house.
FC Dallas 0-0 Nashville SC
Nashville created far more danger in Sunday’s game, with 21 total shots including seven on-target. But that magic moment didn’t come through despite a more consistent performance against a Dallas team that was eager for revenge after the upset in the mid-week.
Somehow, despite that lightning pace (pun entirely and regrettably intended), Nashville SC managed to actually be more sound defensively, giving up just seven total shots – only one of which required a save from keeper Joe Willis – to an FC Dallas team with plenty of firepower.
“I’m looking at the stats here: they actually had one shot on target all game,” Smith said. “That, for me, away from home, is a fabulous statistic for us to be looking at. It means that, as a group – and there’ll be individuals that performed exceptionally well within that of course, but as a group – they’ve shown a real sacrifice to earning points away from home.
The Graphical looked at both games:
Dallas’s unsuccessful passes, on the other hand, were of two very different natures:
The vast majority of their unsuccessful passes in the first game came as they were advancing from the edge of the middle third into the final third. There was more of the same Sunday, certainly, but they also had a really tough time getting the ball out of their defensive areas. In particular, John Nelson, who replaced Hollingshead in the lineup, and left CB Reto Ziegler struggled.
And the voting post for the community ratings, with the following results:
- Man of the Match: M/F Alistair Johnston: 8.23 Community comment:
- “Most dangerous player”
- GK Joe Willis: 7.19
- D Dan Lovitz: 7.63 Community comment:
- “Unsung solid”
- D Dave Romney: 7.61
- D Walker Zimmerman: 7.55
- D Jalil Anibaba: 7.13 Community comment:
- “Nice debut for the club”
- M Aníbal Godoy: 7.22
- M Dax McCarty: 7.03 Community comment:
- “Seemed a little loose with the ball in both games? Got away with it thanks to the assist in the other one”
- M/F Randall Leal: 7.44
- M/F Hany Mukhtar: 7.20 Community comment:
- “Much better in the middle”
- F Dominique Badji: 7.22
- M/F Derrick Jones (66′ sub): 6.17
- M/F Taylor Washington (66′ sub): 5.63 Community comment
- “Launched a cross into space”
- F Abu Danladi (73′ sub): 5.78
- M/F David Accam (74′ sub): 6.17
- Head coach Gary Smith: 7.22 Community comment:
- “Probably a better team performance, but unlucky”
- Overall team rating: 7.22 Community comment:
- “Played better than Wednesday, but the game is unfair sometimes”
Sort of here, sort of elsewhere, I joined the Pharma Boys to talk about the game (and look forward to Atlanta).