Nashville SC Impressive But Inefficient In Dallas Draw

Nashville SC were creative, if not economical, against a difficult FC Dallas side in Sunday night’s 0-0 draw. The expansion side created plenty of chances after a long weather delay, leaving a good account of themselves despite not finding the back of the net.

Last Wednesday was Nashville’s first match in 157 days, but at times on Sunday, the 209 minute weather delay felt just as long.

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Gary Smith made a couple changes to the lineup, bringing in Jalil Anibaba at right back and giving Alistair Johnston a start on the wing after a promising subsitute appearance midweek. Most surprisingly, Dom Badji got the start ahead of Daniel Ríos.

The lightning finally moved on, but the electricity remained. Nashville picked up right where they had left off on Wednesday. With Mukhtar in a more central role, he was able to link up with Badji and combine with Leal to much great effect. The first half was all Nashville, testing Jimmy Maurer’s goal four times, including a pair of rifled efforts from Johnston and Leal.

The second half saw more of the same, with Nashville controlling the ball in dangerous areas and creating plenty of chances, the best of which fell to Badji. The striker picked up the ball on the half-turn just inside the box before smacking his shot off the inside of the post. It should have been a goal for Nashville, and was the closest of their many chances.

In the end, tired legs seemed to doom Nashville to a single point. Head coach Gary Smith handed an MLS debut to Taylor Washington, as well as bringing on Derrick Jones, David Accam and Abu Danladi. Despide the influx of pace, it was Dallas who ended up on the front foot for the latter stages of the match. The home side were able to work the ball around Nashville’s box, testing Joe Willis a handful of times, and sending several more efforts wide.

David Accam nearly found himself the hero for the second match running. Early into second half stoppage time, the winger caught Maurer out of his goal and sent a 60 yard effort just wide of the post.

Ultimately, the match ended in a 0-0 draw. Four points, two clean sheets, and the first win in club history is a decent week’s work, although Smith will likely regret a couple of the missed chances that should have sealed all three points.

Alistair Johnston continued to impress. After playing 23 minutes off the bench on Wednesday, the 21-year-old rookie got the start, testing Maurer with a driven shot, as well as putting in several dangerous crosses.

“Alistair was able to take on board exactly what was required of him. In fact, he had a couple of reasonable opportunities and supplied a couple himself,” said Smith. “The boy’s had a terrific debut. If I was him, I wouldn’t be going to sleep tonight – I’d be watching the game again.”

The draw moves Nashville up into 11th place in the East. They’ll travel to Atlanta United next Saturday for a rematch after losing their MLS debut to the Five Stripes 2-1 back in February.



SHOTS: Dallas 12 – 21 Nashville
SHOTS ON GOAL: Dallas 1 – 7 Nashville
GOALS: Dallas 0 – 0 Nashville
SAVES: Dallas 7 – 1 Nashville
POSSESSION: Dallas 63.8% – 36.2% Nashville
YELLOW CARDS: Dallas 1 – 1 Nashville
RED CARDS: Dallas 0 – 0 Nashville

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


  1. Was very impressed with the team last night, especially in the first half. Investing in the back line has paid off dividends with the Romney/Zimmerman pairing along with getting McCarty and Godoy to shore up the midfield.

    1. Me too, Kevin. I think the opening half was the best they’ve played so far this season. Godoy and McCarty are both excellent passers, and I think we’re beginning to see more from Mukhtar and Leal as well. Definitely good signs.

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