Nashville SC

The Wrap: All my ATXes live in Texas

Welcome to The Wrap! There’s plenty written about each Nashville SC game, and I want to make sure you don’t miss any of it. NSC took down an expansion team in closer-than-it-should-have-been fashion. “Check it out!”

Local content

Game story:

The Boys in Gold went ahead in the first half on a beautiful bit of combination play – Aníbal Godoy forced a turnover in midfield and sprung striker Jhonder Cádiz down the sideline. Although Randall Leal’s volleyed finish from the Cádiz cross wasn’t pure (bouncing into the net after his contact was iffy), they all count in the end, and the Costa Rican gave his team victory. It was Leal’s second goal of the year – and a bit of payback from Cádiz, after Leal had assisted both of the big Venezuelan’s goals earlier this year.

May 23

The game column with quotes from the postgame press conference:

But each seems to be endemic to the poor finishing that this team has slumped into in this early season. A Nashville team with an elite defense and elite chance-creation could be a juggernaut if things get put together.

“Yeah, we had a lot of chances to score, and my teammates make the decisions, and we didn’t score, you know?” said the player who did finish a chance, Leal. “This is something that we need to work, because we know that if we would score one more goal, then Austin can stop playing. They were pressing us and they was attacking us too much. We know that, and I think we want to talk about this during the week.”

The pressing and attacking that Austin emphasized down just a single goal almost came back to bite Nashville SC.

May 26

The Graphical was rushed, but examined whether we should expect Nashville’s finishing to continue its rock-bottom depths, or if there’s reason to believe the Boys in Gold will climb out:

That doesn’t mean you get to go back and say “actually the Cincinnati and Montreal games were wins, thanks.” It does mean that, as you project forward, it’s fair to expect players’ performances will be closer to the massive sample sizes they’ve already put together historically (including a couple thousand minutes in Gold for many of them) than the generally-poor output we’ve seen in the small 2021 sample to date.

May 27

No film room this week – just ran out of time (and only a few intriguing moments to explore anyway, none of them hyper-enlightening).

And finally, the voting post, and your results for the Community ratings:
Don’t forget you can type comments in the box below the numerical votes each week!

  • Man of the Match M Randall Leal: 8.74 Community comments:
    • I’m not sure there is much to be unhappy with in his performance.
    • “Randall continues to plays with joy and effort. Very important goal for the team “
    • You score and kiss the badge, you get 10/10, I don’t make the rules (except for this rule, which I just made)
    • Pura vida
  • GK Joe Willis: 6.92 Community comments:
    • Fortunate with the offside call. I feel like that shot was well within his ability to stop.
    • Not much to do. Was beaten handily on the non-goal, though.
  • D Dave Romney: 7.65 Community comment:
    • Clean sheet. ‘Nough said
    • King
  • D Walker Zimmerman: 7.60
  • D Alistair Johnston: 7.44 Community comments:
    • I like how Lovitz and Johnston were intentional with combining passes to get the ball in more central areas instead of just sending in crosses.
    • “Solid outing defensively. continues to be work in progress making crosses on the move “
    • Thought the physicality of the game suited him
    • Did a really good job against a dangerous left-sided attack
  • D Dan Lovitz: 6.62 Community comments:
    • I like how Lovitz and Johnston were intentional with combining passes to get the ball in more central areas instead of just sending in crosses.
    • The foul on the goal was a weird decision
  • M Aníbal Godoy: 8.20 Community comments:
    • Great build up play and offensive contributions without giving up much defensively.
    • “Outstanding Warrior. Grown Man Doing Work in the middle “
    • Influential
  • M Dax McCarty: 6.88 Community comments:
    • A few untidy touches that could have been better.
    • Solid and gritty performance by the captain
    • Once again some real iffy moments in possession
  • M Alex Muyl: 6.50 Community comments:
    • It seems his shooting has improved a bit since last season
    • Solid work rate …offensively needs to be a little bit cleaner with the ball
    • Couple of giveaways
    • Such a crucial defender. Offense shows room for improvement
  • F Jhonder Cádiz: 6.82 Community comments:
    • Got the assist, but I found myself wondering what he brings that couldn’t be found elsewhere.
    • Nice assist…first touch and execution in the final 3rd is a work in progress
    • One moment of briliance
    • The hate he gets makes zero sense
  • F CJ Sapong: 6.59 Community comments:
    • I don’t see any reason to remove him from the starting lineup. He hasn’t scored in a while, but we look better offensively with him on the field.
    • Workhorse and outstanding effort on both sides of the ball
    • Almost scored!
  • F Dom Badji (57′ sub): 5.27 Community comment:
    • Some golden chances that you would really like to see a center forward convert.
    • “Very good work rate continues to get into great positions in the final 3rd. Finishing is a work in progress “
    • Tough miss
    • Should have scored!
  • M Hany Mukhtar (67′ sub): 5.95 Community comments:
    • I’m not sure what to think.
    • Ready to see him back in the starting XI
    • Has a hard time finding the flow of the game when he’s a sub
  • M Luke Haakenson (79′ sub): 7.08 Community comments:
    • “Solid effort and energy. Beautiful through ball pass to Badji. Nice header on a cross from the wing”
    • HaakenSZN
  • M Taylor Washington (79′ sub): 6.73
    • Showing himself more and more to be a productive member of the team at this level.
    • “Solid performance. Excellent energy and effort. Two (2) pinpoint crosses into the box “
    • Becoming a pretty effective sub
  • Head coach Gary Smith: 7.49 Community comments:
    • Good start, but I didn’t feel his changes were very effective until Haakenson and Washington came on.
    • He’s managing a team that haven’t conceded in almost 7 hours of soccer
    • Outstanding gameplan against a better-than-expected team. He can’t go out there and finish the chances, though (I bet he wishes he could!)
  • Overall Team Rating: 7.20 Community comments:
    • We’ve done the business and shut out a tricky Austin FC. One goal is all you need, but Jhonder, Hany, Taylor, and CJ all missed golden chances to kill the game early. Lots of “suffering” as a result… just can’t quite put that biscuit in the basket. A win is a win, though!
    • “First time commenter, longtime reader. Can I just say that I really appreciate our local production team after last night. That broadcast was terrible even on a just general soccer analysis level. I feel like all they did to prepare was watch some highlights and read some bios.
    • Got a win, but should have scored more goals.
    • “Outstanding defensive team effort. Nashville SC players had 7-8 opportunities in the final 3rd where final execution was lacking “
    • Imperfect performance but a deserved win

Fair marks all around. Don’t forget you can participate in the Community Rankings each week by voting in the post that goes up after the game.

We discussed the game on the latest edition of the pod (also: a preview of Atlanta with Jillian Sakovits).


The game center always has some useful stuff post-game, along with the recap. Some love (sorta) from Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle. Gamer from the Tennessean. NSC player ratings from SpotsBlogs. Broadway gamer. It’s been almost a week and NewsChannel5 has not corrected a headline stating this was the first home game of the year. Nashville Post gamer. Another game story from Mainstreet Nashville. ESPN Deportes and ESPN gamer (from the Reuters wire).

Nashville up to seventh in the ESPN power rankings, up to 10th to the league’s site.

KXAN with the Austin perspective. Last Word on Sports from the Austin perspective. Austin American Statesman gamer. Austonia gamer. Three takeaways from The Striker Texas.

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