It wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t everything the Boys in Gold wanted. But Nashville SC managed to take its show on the road for just the fifth time this year, and with a heavily rotated lineup, managed to find an equalizer to draw Toronto FC 1-1.
Better yet, that equalizer came from the head of a player in his first MLS action. Robert Castellanos joined Nashville from the USL’s RGV Toros this offseason, and had yet to find the pitch for his new team. With a three-game week, a number of injuries, and the practical complications of international travel for the first time as a club, NSC needed him to step up. And step up Castellanos did. While he and CB partner Dave Romney (who were joined in the now-regular three-man backline by right CB Eric Miller) shared the blame for Toronto FC’s opener, Castellanos made up for it in just his 41st MLS minute, nodding a long throw-in from Romney to the near post and beating TFC keeper Alex Bono.
As we’ve seen in some of Nashville’s more-disappointing results (particularly early in the season), the team continued to pour on pressure over the remainder of the game, but was unable to turn a massive expected goals advantage (1.3-0.5) into an edge on the scoreboard. While there’s hardly a match in MLS that teams in which will regret earning a crucial point on the road, one in which Nashville missed a number of chances to turn that point into three of them is going to grate – just like some of those early-season matches.
As the first match in a three-game road swing in the course of just eight days, Nashville won’t have time to worry about the missed chances this game saw. The club rises back to third place in the Eastern Conference table. With a quick trip directly from Toronto to New England for a Wednesday meeting, and then a Sunday jaunt down to Miami on deck, they’ll hope to see the finishing form that has shone through in recent weeks come back to the forefront, and Gary Smith’s club can make a stronger statement toward the top of the table if all goes according to plan.
- 20′ TOR GOAL – 44 Omar Gonzalez (headed), assisted by 30 Yeferson Soteldo (right-footed free kick)
- 41′ NSH GOAL – 24 Robert Castellanos (headed), assisted by 4 Dave Romney (long throw)
- 45’+2 Half time
- 58′ TOR Substitution – On 21 Jonathan Osorio, off 97 Ralph Priso
- 63′ NSH Substitution – On 19 Alex Muyl, off 27 Tah Brian Anunga
- 67′ NSH Yellow card – 6 Dax McCarty (foul)
- 68′ NSH Substitution – On 5 Jack Maher, off 12 Alistair Johnston
- 76′ TOR Substitution – On 6 Dom Dwyer, off 17 Jozy Altidore
- 77′ NSH Substitutions:
- On 99 Jhonder Cádiz, off 17 CJ Sapong
- On 72 Ake Loba, off 8 Randall Leal
- 90’+4 Full time