Film Friday: Beating teams with the ball

Hello and welcome to another Film Friday!

Nashville SC beat DC United 2-0 last week, and that marked the eighth consecutive home win for the Boys in Gold. Nashville has excelled at home with an incredible record of eight wins, two draws and only one loss. They are tied for the second-best home record in the league, and only bested by FC Cincinnati.

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We’ve talked in the past about Nashville’s new diamond formation and how vital it has been to Nashville’s resurgence as a top team. The biggest consequence of the formation change has been the amount of wins Nashville has achieved, and with those wins comes a lot of confidence.

If we take a look at the first half against DC, we see a completely dominant Nashville side playing to the best of its ability. Nashville had more possession and were simply the only team in the game. They took advantage of their chances and scored twice before the end of the half.

But perhaps the most impressive Nashville looked was during the final phase of the game, especially after Walker Zimmerman was sent off. Let’s take a look at this sequence.

You are probably wondering why I made you sit through a passage of play that led absolutely nowhere. While it went nowhere, it is 100% the right thing to do. Those 17 passes show how confident Nashville are on the ball, and in their own ability to keep it, something that I believe we haven’t seen from this Nashville team before.

Sequences like this put DC out of the game, and allowed Nashville more control. More importantly, they provide a break for the defenders and a chance for them to breath and not face any pressure.

The final 10 minutes of the game saw similar sequences from Nashville. Even though they were shorter, they still achieved similar results. In the last 10 minutes plus stoppage time, Nashville limited DC to one shot on target and three overall. Nashville passed the ball 58 times and had over 40% possession. They also earned two corners.

That mitigated DC’s attack, and allowed for Nashville to kill off the game with 10 minutes left. There’s no question about Nashville hitting a new gear this season, but there’s still a third of the games to go, and Nashville will have to continue this form if they want to win any trophies.

Thanks for watching, and please remember to share and follow.

Author: Valair Shabillamoved to Nashville as a refugee from Iraq at the age of 14. A fan of soccer from a young age, he used soccer to connect with a larger community in Nashville and adapt to life abroad. He's covered Nashville SC since 2019, co-hosting Pharmaceutical Soccer, and analyzing soccer from an audio/video perspective.

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