Nashville SC lost 2-0 to Columbus Crew on Saturday night, ending their unbeaten run at four matches. Despite the scoreline, the Boys In Gold put in a strong performance, going toe-to-toe with the best side in Major League Soccer. The Speedway Soccer crew rated each Nashville SC player’s performance. Below is a quick guideline of our evaluation process.
- A rating of 6 denotes and average performance. Each player starts out with a 6 and their performance either adds or subtracts from that rating.
- Scores are determined after re-watching the match and looking at the stats, and are the averaged total of each Speedway member’s ratings.
Joe Willis – 7.0: The Nashville ‘keeper had a relatively slow night, claiming a couple crosses, but conceding from Columbus’s only two shots on target. Neither goal was down to him, though. He’s been a steady presence in goal for Nashville thus far.
Dan Lovitz – 6.8: The left back put in his typical workrate, but wasn’t as effective as usual in the final third and was solid in possession as always. Rather unfortunate to pick up a yellow card for a very soft foul. He’ll miss Nashville’s midweek match against DC United, suspended due to yellow card accumulation. While Nashville will miss him, he’s played every minute of the season thus far, and could probably use a rest.
Dave Romney – 7.3: Overall, he kept Gyasi Zardes quiet for most of the match. Even on Columbus’s final goal, his positioning was decent, and was only beaten by a really creative finishing touch. A consistent and reliable performer.
Walker Zimmerman – 6.3: Solid for the most part, but a poor giveaway lead directly to Columbus’s goal. He’s the more adventurous of Nashville’s center-backs in possession, and while he does create overloads by pushing forward, he’s had a couple poor decisions that have resulted in goals.
Alistair Johnston – 6.8: He’s a reliable defender and a hard worker, and he’s developing into a reliable outlet in possession. A poor pass to Zimmerman put him under pressure for the Crew’s opener, but overall a good performance.
Aníbal Godoy – 7.5: His ability to receive the ball and turn in traffic is a huge source of relief for Nashville when under pressure. He was consistently able to break the Crew’s first line of pressure and advance the ball into the final third. Had one of the best chances of the night, a shot from 20 yards out that was cleared off the line. Withdrawn for Derrick Jones after 78 minutes.
Dax McCarty – 7.3: A diligent two-way worker, as always. Had a poor giveaway in midfield that lead to a great chance, but tracked back and blocked the shot with a fantastic sliding challenge. Had a couple good looking entry passes, but the forwards were unable to make the most of the service.
Alan Winn – 6.8: Worked hard in his first MLS start, but struggled to get involved and was anonymous for large stretches of the match. Replaced by Daniel Ríos with 27 minutes left to play.
Hany Mukhtar – 7.3: Couldn’t find the net, but was a consistent threat for Nashville, picking up good pockets of space and keeping Columbus’s defense busy.
Alex Muyl – 7.3: As always, put in a shift. Found himself isolated in possession at times, but opened up space for Dom Badji well. Got on the end of Nashville’s best chance of the night, making a late run into the box and blasting a shot from very close range right at Eloy Room. It was a decent save from the Crew ‘keeper, but it should have been a goal. A foot to either side and Nashville would have taken a lead.
Dom Badji – 6.0: Stretched the field and got on the ball a lot in the final third, but consistently picked the wrong option. Opted to take a speculative shot instead of passing to an open teammate, and put a couple headers well over the goal. His workrate is never in question, but aside from an impossible-to-miss finish against Atlanta, the end product just hasn’t been there.
Daniel Ríos – 6.3: Given 30 minutes to impact the game, and drew a couple fouls with a very clean first touch, but unable to really influence the game. Seems due for another start at some point.
Taylor Washington – 6.5: One of his better performances this season. Able to consistently get into crossing positions on the left, and whipped in several dangerous balls into the box. With Lovitz suspended, he could be in line for a start at left back on Wednesday.
Derrick Jones – 6.3: On for Godoy with 12 minutes to play, and looked much more at home in a deeper role. Drove forward well from midfield, and was very clean on the ball. Picked a couple of dangerous passes as well.
Gary Smith – 7.0: His tactics are pretty well established at this point, and didn’t alter them much against Columbus. Despite the loss, he deserves credit for not just matching the Crew, but controlling the match for long stretches. Has the expansion side in playoff position with about half the season left to play, no small feat for a side that often struggles to score.
With eleven matches played, here’s how Nashville’s players have been rated over the course of the season: