Randall Leal photo from file – Tim Sullivan/Club and County
After a matchdate off (thanks to last week’s disappointment against the Philadelphia Union not providing much to get excited about), the Boys in Gold are back in the spotlight. After a 6-3 win over FC Cincinnati Wednesday evening, yesterday’s Team of the Week saw Randall Leal honored, with CJ Sapong named to the bench.
Leal scored two goals – to cut the Cincinnati lead to 3-2 in first-half stoppage time, and then to give his team its first lead of the night in the 76th minute. He also assisted Aké Loba for the (first) insurance goal before being subbed out in the 84th minute. Both of his five shots that ended up being on-frame ended up in the back of the net. He also completed 83.9% of his passes, and had another key pass that didn’t end in an assist.
Sapong scored two goals – and that this wasn’t enough to make the TOTW proper is a testament to just what a wild midweek it was in Major League Soccer. That Walker Zimmerman – a centerback who had a goal and an assist on the night – didn’t make the cut… also points out that Nashville needed most of Leal and Sapong’s scoring production in order to earn the win.
Leal is the 16th Team of the Week selection for Nashville this season, and earned his second honor of the year. . Joe Willis got the nod after Week Three, Alex Muyl and Zimmerman on the TOTW after Week Four, Hany Mukhtar was MLS Player of the Week runner-up after a brace in Week Seven, and POTW after an MLS-record hat trick in Week 13, and again in week 23 before being named to Week 31’s top list, Luke Haakenson for his two-goal heroics in Week Nine, Leal in Week Ten, striker CJ Sapong after weeks 15 and 19, Robert Castellanos in Week 16, Zimmerman again in Weeks 20, 24, and 29, and Dan Lovitz in Week 22.