Player Ratings: FC Cincinnati 1-0 Nashville SC

Nashville SC lost its second consecutive match in a 1-0 home defeat to FC Cincinnati Saturday.

Below are our player ratings.

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Each member of the Speedway Soccer crew gives each player that saw the pitch a rating based on their match performance. Below is a quick guideline for our evaluation process.

  • A rating of 6 denotes an 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 – 8.3: It’s certainly abnormal for a goalkeeper on the losing end of the spectrum to be named man of the match, but Willis put on an impressive clinic of goalkeeping with six saves, five of those being where he was at full stretch. He was unfortunate to concede Cincinnati’s lone goal and match-winner, which came after Willis made an initial diving save.

Dan Lovitz – 6: A rare lackluster performance from Lovitz, losing both of his ground duels and completing 36% of his long balls.

Jack Maher – 7.3: Maher actually completed the most passes out of all Nashville outfield players, including six passes into the final third and 80% of his long balls completed.

Walker Zimmerman – 6.3: Zimmerman was fairly involved on the offensive side in the box with three shots, and was his normal dominant self in the air, winning 75% of his aerial duels.

Shaq Moore – 4.8: Moore created four chances, but it was his worst defensive outing since joining Nashville, as he was out of position on the initial pass into the final third that led to Cincinnati’s goal.

Jacob Shaffelburg – 5.5: Shaffelburg wasn’t as lively on the offensive end as he has been to start the season, but did put in a couple of decent crosses into the box.

Dax McCarty – 5: McCarty had a tough time trying to contain Cincinnati in the midfield and was rather sloppy with his distribution. He certainly seemed displeased as he was withdrawn from the match.

Sean Davis – 6: Completed 88% of his passes, with five into the final third. Did log two interceptions, but also lost his only duel.

Fafà Picault – 5.3: Picault easily had Nashville’s two best chances on the night, with a good header from a cross from Shaffelburg and a volley from a corner. Both opportunities went right above the crossbar.

Hany Mukhtar – 6.3: Hany’s two efforts came around the same spot in the penalty box at acute angles. Part of Nashville’s inability to score certainly came at the expense of Mukhtar not being able to create opportunities.

CJ Sapong – 5: Not a great outing for Sapong in his first start for the 2023 season, as he had the least amount of touches of any outfield player and logged zero shots.


Anibal Godoy – 6: Godoy was eased back into action after being briefly sidelined with a knock. He did complete 93% of his passes and recorded two tackles, but his introduction did not impact the outcome of the match.

Teal Bunbury – 5: Bunbury had two close-range shots, but both missed the target.

Jan Gregus – 5.5: Nashville’s newest midfield signing made his debut late into the match, completing all but one of his passes during his limited action.

Luke Haakenson – 4.5: Only had four touches during his cameo appearance, completing two passes.


Gary Smith – 5.3: It’s hard to justify the second-half performance Nashville SC had on display against not only a rival from the USL days that had never beaten the ‘Yotes, but also a side they could be racing against in the Eastern Conference standings. Part of that is limited attacking personnel due to Randall Leal’s injury, but part of it also has to do with the underwhelming tactics on display. When Nashville are ahead, they appear to play careless and free-flowing, yet any sort of lead they face from the opposition is stagnant and conservative (only a .25 xG in the second half after falling behind.) The alarm bells aren’t sounding yet, as Cincinnati has proven early they’ll be a strong side this year, but questions have to eventually be brought up about Nashville’s play when it goes a goal behind.

Author: Andy Simmonsjoined Speedway Soccer after stints with Golden Goal and 615 Formation. A former journalist now in web development, Simmons also previously worked for Main Street Media and Gannett. A student of the game, Simmons has been playing soccer his entire life and participates in several adult soccer leagues around town. When he is not playing soccer, you can find him at brunch, rewatching Rick and Morty or The Office, doing a mock draft for fantasy football, or complaining about Arsenal.

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