Aníbal Godoy likely to miss Nashville SC’s playoff match against Toronto with injury

Nashville SC’s Aníbal Godoy is set to miss Tuesday night’s playoff match against Toronto FC due to injury. The standout midfielder limped off in the 74th minute of Nashville’s 3-0 win over Inter Miami in the play-in round of the MLS Cup Playoffs after apparently re-aggravating a left thigh injury that kept him out of international duty the week before.

“I think ultimately that one’s going to be a bit of a bridge too far,” said head coach Gary Smith when asked about Godoy’s status. “We’ll live and hope, though. Aníbal’s recovery is underway, and it’s maybe not quite as serious as we first expected. But I think with the short turnaround it’ll be a tough one to get Aníbal ready.”

Godoy has been a fixture in Nashville’s lineup this season, starting 19 of their 24 matches this season. He did miss three matches in the regular season, with Brian Anunga slotting in to replace him.

“He’ll be replaced with one of the bodies that you’ve seen throughout the year,” said Smith. “I think we’ll get a sterling job done in that area. But for sure, if he’s to miss out, he’ll certainly be sorely missed.”

Aside from Godoy and Dax McCarty, first choice pairing in central midfield, Nashville have gotten production from Anunga, Matt LaGrassa and Derrick Jones in a similar area. Anunga has played nearly 900 minutes this season in a holding midfield role, with LaGrassa accumulating just over 400.

“I think as you’ve seen throughout this second phase of our scheduling, we’ve had two or three bodies go in there,” said Smith. “The likes of Brian Anunga and Matt LaGrassa have done a sterling job in that midfield area. Of course Derrick Jones is more than capable of fulfilling that role.”

Smith was quick to point out the talent Toronto have in midfield. Alejandro Pozeulo is an MVP frontrunner. Michael Bradley is one of the all-time cap leaders for the US men’s national team, and Jonathan Osorio has quietly turned into one of the league’s best box-to-box midfielders.

“The central area of the field is very instrumental for them,” Smith acknowledged. “My challenge is how do we make that a more difficult place to navigate whilst also keeping some of our own qualities and abilities that you’ve seen over the last four, five, six weeks. Our form’s improved. We’re scoring goals. I’ve got a little bit of a conundrum.”

“I’ll have a plan A and a plan B,” he said. “We’ll find out more about Aníbal tomorrow. If it’s negative, I’ll go to plan B.”

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