Has Nashville SC’s attack actually improved?

Nashville's attacking production has been quite possibly the main talking point around the team since the Boys In Gold joined MLS. 2020 started slowly and ended with a bang. 2021 showed initial progression in attack, despite the results not matching the on-field performances. But outside of two matches chasing a lead against questionable Cincinnati and Montréal defenses, have Nashville actually been good?

To answer this question, we'll use one of my favorite things: graphs. Shout out to Reddit user redditliontee for the inspiration.

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Early 2020

Nashville struggled mightily in the final third to start the 2020 season. They scored just five goals in their first nine matches, and weren't able to consistently finish the few chances they created. As the graph shows, they were bad at creating and finishing.

Over their first 18 matches in MLS, Nashville scored just 0.75 goals per game, the third-worst tally in MLS. They also struggled to create high-quality chances, with the worst expected goals value per shot in MLS.

Late 2020

Nashville's attacking production improved significantly down the stretch, sparked by a 3-1 win on the road in Houston. Following that match, Nashville were one of the . . .

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Author: Ben Wrightis the Director of Soccer Content and a Senior MLS Contributor for Broadway Sports covering Nashville SC and the US National Team. Previously Ben was the editor and a founder of Speedway Soccer, where he has covered Nashville SC and their time in USL before journeying to Major League Soccer since 2018. Raised in Louisville, KY Ben grew up playing before a knee injury ended his competitive career. When he is not talking soccer he is probably producing music, drinking coffee or hanging out with his wife and kids. Mastodon