It’d be fair to say that no Nashville SC player was more responsible for walking out of Gillette Stadium with a point Saturday evening, and keeper Joe Willis has been rewarded for his efforts.
The 32-year old has been named to Major League Soccer’s Team of the Week after his five-save performance against the New England Revolution Saturday evening. He finished fourth in the North American Soccer Reporters media voting for player of the week with 9.7% of the vote, and with the fan vote considered, finished fourth overall.
The clean-sheet performance was his sixth of the year, a career high for the former DC United and Houston Dynamo keeper. Five saves in a shutout performance matches his best this season (previously accomplished in wins over FC Dallas and Inter Miami CF, as well as a scoreless draw against IMCF). He also made two punched clearances, and claimed one cross against the Revs. The offense in front of him was ineffective – four total shots, only one on-target – so Willis’s saves were crucial to ensuring a point for his team.
Willis is the second Nashville SC player to earn placement on the Team of the Week: midfielder Dax McCarty earned a spot in Week 11 after a three-assist, one-goal performance in a win against Atlanta United. Head coach Gary Smith was the Coach of the Week for that round, as well.
With eight game-weeks to play, Nashville SC will hope that a few more honors are on the way – and that the season continues deep into the playoffs thereafter.
Willis photo courtesy Nashville SC