Nashville SC

Nashville SC earns a road draw in uneven match with Red Bulls

From file. Tim Sullivan/Club and Country

As is often the case in Harrison, New Jersey, Saturday evening’s matchup with New York Red Bulls is not one that Nashville SC will save in its “aesthetically pleasing memories” scrapbook (you know, that scrapbook we all have and enjoy). However, a match in which NSC was unable to muster a shot on target saw Joe Willis save three of them as the Boys in Gold headed home with a 0-0 draw.

Willis may have been the star of the show, which each of his saves coming at close range – and against shooters who didn’t find much resistance on their path to goal other than the veteran keeper. In the 12th minute, US Youth International John Tolkin’s open shot after a layoff pass in transition saw Willis slide across the face of his goal and punch away. A counter-attacking opportunity for Cory Burke in the 54th was an easier save, with Willis going to a knee to corral it. In the 76th, Elias Manoel’s crafty turn saw him in-behind centerback Walker Zimmerman, but once again, Willis was able to go to ground and his defenders cleared the ball. Job done, draw secured.

In the 69th, it appeared that Nashville may even steal all three points. Former Red Bull Alex Muyl ran onto a throughball from Mukhtar and beat keeper Carlos Coronel, but was adjudged offside – milliseconds away from timing the run perfectly.

It was the second trip to Red Bull Arena and first result for Nashville, after suffering a 2-0 loss in 2021. Short-handed with reigning league MVP Hany Mukhtar still on the mend from a preseason injury (he entered the contest as a halftime sub), Aníbal Godoy unavailable after a shoulder injury in the season-opening match, and Randall Leal a surprise scratch after a late-week injury in training, heading on the road and taking a point is hardly something to be ashamed of. Doing so in a match that saw Red Bulls control 57% of the ball (in fairness, likely part of Nashville’s gameplan given RBNY’s discomfort in possession), keep Nashville below 60% passing success, and take all three of the match’s shots on target could be considered something of an escape.

With the draw, Nashville gains a crucial road point, and moves to four points on the season, in third place behind Inter Miami CF and New England Revolution (who have each won both of their games to date). NSC returns to GEODIS Park for a matchup with CF Montreal this Saturday.

Starting lineup

Match events

  • 3′ NSH Yellow card – 6 Dax McCarty (professional foul)
  • 45’+3 Half time
  • HT NSH Substitutions –
    • On 10 Hany Mukhtar, off 14 Jacob Shaffelburg
    • On 27 Brian Anunga, off 6 Dax McCarty
  • HT RBNY Substitution – On 6 Kyle Duncan, off 10 Lewis Morgan
  • 52′ NSH Yellow card – 27 Brian Anunga (foul)
  • 53′ RBNY Substitution – On 7 Cory Burke, off 74 Tom Barlow
  • 74′ NSH Substitution – On 17 CJ Sapong, off 12 Teal Bunbury
  • 76′ RBNY Substitution – On 13 Dante Vanzeir, off 11 Elias Manoel
  • 85′ NSH Yellow card – 25 Walker Zimmerman
  • 87′ RBNY Substitution – On 21 Omir Fernandez, off 17 Cameron Harper
  • 87′ NSH Substitution – On 23 Taylor Washington, off 7 Fafa Picault
  • 90’+3 NSH Yellow card – 23 Taylor Washington (foul)
  • 90’+7 Full time

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