We’re continuing our Nashville SC report cards with a look at winger Alex Muyl.
Matches played: 21
Minutes played: 1,460
Goals added: -1.75 (140th among MLS wingers)
xG+xA: 3.13 (57th among MLS wingers)
Average Speedway Soccer rating: 7.2
Average WhoScored rating: 6.7
What went right in 2020?
Nashville traded for Muyl from New York Red Bulls almost simultaneously with their return to play in August, and he immediately slotted into the starting lineup, playing opposite Randall Leal in Gary Smith’s preferred 4-4-1-1 formation. He quickly provided stability on the right wing, which had seen a steady rotation of starters until then.
Muyl could be described as a “defensive winger”. Coming out of the Red Bulls’ high-pressing system, he expectedly brought a high workrate on both sides of the ball and covered lots of ground. A major strength of his is winning the ball back in the opponent’s half, a fundamental element of Nashville’s tactical identity. This made him an easy plug and play option for Smith, even without much end product.
Muyl also chipped in with three assists and had some nice moments of quick interplay in the final third. He made plenty of solid runs into the box, and found himself in really good positions to put the ball on target.
What went wrong in 2020?
Muyl tended to do everything right apart from the final shot. He only managed to put five of his 21 shots on target, and didn’t score a goal. His -2.26 goals minus expected goals (G-xG) total was the lowest on the team, and had a couple really poor misses.
In fairness to Muyl, he’s never been a high scoring winger, and wasn’t necessarily expected to add lots of goals to Nashville. But in a side that struggled to score goals consistently, and with some of the opportunities he had, it’s fair to expect more.
What needs to improve in 2021?
End product is the major missing piece, and Nashville realize that. The reported signing of Rodrigo Piñeiro will likely push Muyl out of the first choice eleven in a move that should see more goals contributed from the wing. With a packed calendar, though, Muyl should still see plenty of action, and when he does get on the field, he has to put his shots on target.
Most memorable moment
This foul on Muyl in Nashville’s playoff match against Toronto should have drawn a red card. Somehow it didn’t.