Soccer fans in Ohio are still debating on which trophy they consider more prestigious: the Supporters Shield or MLS Cup?
Nashville SC, on the other hand, has a unique opportunity to achieve something never done before. In 2024, Nashville has a chance to break a couple of MLS records. Additionally, Teal Bunbury could continue to ascend the leaderboard for the most career substitute goals.
While the Supporters Shield and MLS Cup are their own marks of greatness, breaking one of these records can also cement your place in MLS history.
MLS career hat tricks: 6
Hany Muhktar is on the verge of breaking the record for the most career MLS hat tricks. He has already scored four hat tricks in four MLS seasons, with at least one in the last three seasons and two in 2023 alone.
Nashville SC will play against the Chicago Fire twice this year, a team that Hany has previously terrorized by scoring two hat tricks against them. If Hany scores three hat tricks this season, he will tie the record for the most hat tricks in a single season.
Just imagine the historic “Most Career MLS Hat Tricks” banner hanging in the Geodis rafters.
The 50 50 club
Mukhtar came a game short of breaking the consecutive goals or assist record from May 18, 2022, to September 17, 2022, when he scored a goal or assisted in 14 out of 15 games.
Due to his exceptional scoring abilities, Hany is often overlooked for his passing skills. However, he has been among the top 15 players in the league for assists in the last three seasons.
With the offensive additions made by NSC over the past year, Hany has the best supporting cast during his Nashville career. Players like Tyler Boyd, Jacob Shaffelburg, and Sam Surridge will draw some defensive attention away from Hany, giving him more space to make his moves.
If he provides 11 assists this year, he will join an even more elite group of players who have recorded 50 goals and 50 assists in their MLS career.
Most clean sheets In a season: 16
Joe Willis has been an outstanding goalkeeper during his four years in Nashville. He has kept at least nine clean sheets each season, with his best performance being 13 clean sheets in 2022.
Willis got off to a hot start in 2023, recording five clean sheets in the first seven games. However, the team’s performance eventually declined, and they conceded a goal in 15 out of the next 17 games.
In 2024, Willis will have another opportunity to break the record held since 2000 by Tony Meola.
Minutes without conceding to start the season: 427
Nashville SC is known for its strong defense, and their 2023 version might be their best yet. Dan Lovitz and Shaq Moore are back as excellent options on the outside. Meanwhile, the core of CBs is easily one of the best groups in the league. Nashville SC also has a relatively easy schedule to start the season, facing three teams in the bottom half for goals scored last year and an LA Galaxy team that NSC will play at home.
The biggest obstacle comes in the fifth game after 360 scoreless minutes. Nashville SC will take on LAFC on the road, hoping to keep them off the board for at least 67 minutes. But this might not be as daunting as it sounds; LAFC was shut out three times at home in 2023.
Other records within reach
Most goals between two teammates – 50
Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi set this in 2019, and only three pairs have scored more than 40. 20-20 or 25-15 for Mukhtar and Surridge is plausible to get them in the top 5.
Most goals as a sub in a career
Teal Bunbury is tied for 10th with 12 goals. He will come off the bench for most of this season, and he can attempt to climb the leaderboard. Chris Wondolowski, in 3rd place with 17 goals, is in reach for Bunbury.
Most individual goal scorers In a season: 18
This is an achievable record for NSC, which may come as a surprise. In 2023, Nashville had 12 goal scorers, and they could have had even more.
Longest individual shutout streak: 681 min
Fewest losses: four
Nashville tied this record in 2021, losing just four matches in total. Could they do it again?