Nashville SC

Postgame press conference: Gary Smith and Sean Davis after 1-1 draw at Portland Timbers

Nashville SC head coach Gary Smith and midfielder Sean Davis met with the media after their team’s 1-1 draw against Portland Timbers. Watch their full comments here:

The transcript of the answers you’re interested in, from Smith on three controversial calls in the match:

“What I can’t understand is this: on Hany’s play, he is the aggressor, he’s done tremendously well to beat one or two players inside the penalty area. And if I’m talking to my defenders, I’m saying, ‘you’ve got problems if you’ve got a player who’s backed you up into the penalty area. You’ve got to be 100% sure that you’re not impeding that player, you’re not putting him in a difficult position or at worst fouling him.’ Because in the modern game, surely, I think we’ve all seen and heard of the support and rule changes to look after the creative players, the moments that change games. I haven’t seen it back yet – I saw it on the screen, I saw it in real time of course – and I can’t honestly wrap me head around the fact that Hany’s not impeded. There’s not contact there? I just can’t understand that. And for the fault to go the other way because it’s deemed that he simulated contact or dived or however you want to put it and receives a yellow card is bambloozing to say the least.

And like I said, that wasn’t the only situation. What about Alex? What about when Alex is in, attacking the edge of the box, the defender’s the wrong side of him? How on Earth is that deemed that Alex has fouled the guy, or dived? Absolute… I can’t make head nor tail of it, I really can’t.”

What was your conversation with the fourth official about the VAR check on the potential Teal Bunbury penalty?

“That was the third one, the second penalty call, yeah? Look, he fourth official was terrific. You know, he handled it very well, and I know Silviu [Petrscu] is a terrific referee, he’s very, very experienced. And I think in the main, the guys have conducted themselves brilliantly under some very frustrating circumstances. In a final third of the season where the playoffs are at stake here – there’s nothing to choose between the teams – there was no explanation from the referee at the end on the penalty call on Teal. The fourth official suggested that the decision was that he wasn’t – when he went to strike the ball – the defender had not actually, was not actually impeding him at that point. My question was – and I was trying to explain to him in some sort of coaching escapade on the line – I said, ‘look, you stand in front of me, and I’ll try and pull you backwards. And if you’re in front of the goal, you’ve got to try and remain balanced, you’ve got to try and organize your feet, and you’ve got to try and get a clear shot off to score. If I don’t touch you, if I can’t make contact with you from behind, guess what? The chances of you getting that right are improved dramatically. Dramatically!’ I rest my case.”

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