Nashville SC return home after a four game road trip that concluded with a 3-1 loss to Orlando City on Wednesday night. Tonight, the Boys in Gold face off against fellow expansion side Inter Miami CF. Let’s take a look at how that match could play out.
Nashville fell 3-1 to Orlando City Wednesday night. A night were the game played on the field took a back seat to what happened throughout the world of sport. The NBA, WNBA, several MLB and all but one MLS game did not take place after the players chose to boycott in protest of police brutality and the unjust killing of black people in this country. Nashville had been in communication about making the boycott league wide but the time ran out on the players as they were working to coordinate. The following day players from several teams, including Nashville’s Jalil Anibaba were on Extratime Radio (MLS podcast) to discuss the boycott and what they meant. I implore you all to take time to listen or watch here.
On Wednesday night, Coach Gary Smith moved away from the 4-2-3-1 and deployed a 4-4-2 in an order to create some more offensive chances. Nashville went ahead early and before giving up the first goal, were definitely on the front foot. Expect to Nashville stick with the 4-4-2 as they look to improve the offense.
Wednesday night, Smith chose to go with a front two of Daniel Ríos and Abu Danladi. Ríos was responsible for linking the play together and allow Danladi to put pressure on the back line. Inter Miami will be vulnerable to the counter attach and NSC could choose to utilize the speed of both Dominique Badji and Abu Danladi to exploit Miami as they push up the field.
In the midfield, Randall Leal and Hany Muhktar will lined up in the wide positions as they look to create chances for both Badji and Danladi on counter. In the middle, the ever reliable duo of Dax McCarty and Aníbal Godoy will continue to start. In the pre match press conference, Smith talked about how removing McCarty and Godoy requires much less experience player to play a crucial role. Unless they are unavailable for selection expect both to start every game.
In defensive, Joe Willis will start in net with the pairing of Dave Romney and Walker Zimmerman at center-back. At full-back, Daniel Lovitz had a rough game on Wednesday where he has tested many times but I expect to see him bounce back after a tough performance. Jalil Anibaba started at right back against Orlando but was replaced at half after picking up a yellow card. Alistair Johnson came in at half and performed well and should get the chance to start in his natural position.
Inter Miami CF
Wednesday Night, Inter Miami was one of the 10 teams that did not play in protest of police brutality and the brutal shooting of Jacob Blake. They along with scheduled opponents, Atlanta United were the first match to be called off that night and so they come into Nashville with a little extra rest.
Tonight’s match will be the first opportunity to draw direct comparison between the two expansion teams and how they choose to construct their teams. Inter Miami have chosen to rely on young up coming South American talents such as Julián Carranza and Matías Pellegrini along with the exciting Rodolfo Pizarro while Nashville have opted for more league experience. As high profile as some of the Inter Miami signing have been, the team is still looking to build momentum and consitency. Currently they sit last in the East, 1 point behind Nashville.
Diego Alonso favors the 4-3-3 and according to Franco Panzico in the most recent Zoomed N expect to see Alonso utilize the exact same line up they were expected to utilize on Wednesday Night. There is always a chance of a last minute change but like Nashville, Miami is looking to build some consistency.
Up front, Julián Carranza came in to their match against Orlando and scored two goals. He will get the start again with Rodolfo Pizarro and Lewis Morgan either side of him.
In the midfield, USMNT veteran Wil Trapp will sit in the defensive midfield position and break up attacks. Further up in the midfield, Victor Ulloa will slot in on the left and play a hybrid number 8 and Matías Pellegrini as the most advance midfielder.
At the back, long time MLS veteran Luis Robles will be in net in front of the center back pairing of Leandro González Pirez and Andres Reyes. González Pirez has brought a much needed solidity to the backline since joining from Club Tijuana. At full back Ben Sweat will start on the left with Nicolas Figal on the right.
Inter Miami CF
OUT: George Acosta (left knee), David Norman Jr (left ankle), Denso Ulysse (left lower leg)
Not medically cleared: Ken Tribbett (calf), Jimmy Medranda (hip)
Score: Nashville 1 – 2 Inter Miami
Scorers: Dominique Badji
MOTM: Daniel Lovitz
Bold Prediction: Nashville scores first but concede on two counter attacks
Score: Nashville 1 – 0 Inter Miami
Scorers: Abu Danladi
MOTM: Dax McCarty
Bold Prediction: Nashville scores early and then hangs back to preserve the win.
Score: Nashville 1 – 1 Inter Miami
Scorers: Aníbal Godoy
MOTM: Aníbal Godoy
Bold Prediction: Nashville is able to create more chances than Miami but in the end is unable to convert them.
Score: Nashville 1 – 3 Inter Miami
Scorers: Hany Muhktar
MOTM: Hany Muhktar
Bold Prediction: Nashville Scores a late goal after going down by three
Have a prediction for this week’s match? Vote in our Fan Forecast!
Date: Sunday, 08/30/20
Time: 7:30 PM, Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
TV: MyTV30, ESPN+ (out of market)
Radio: 94.9 The Game 2 (English); El Jefe 96.7 (Spanish)
Forecast: 80°/78°. Thunderstorms. 80% chance of rain. 78% humidity.