Nashville SC closed out a three game road trip with a 2-1 loss in Miami. Just the third time in MLS that they’ve lost a match when scoring first, the Boys In Gold looked flat for most of the night and were outplayed by Miami, especially in the second half.
Below are our player ratings.
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 – 6.4: Willis had one of his busiest nights of the year. The Nashville ‘keeper made seven saves, but was let down by poor defending on both Miami goals.
Jack Maher – 6.3: The young defender was deployed on the right of a back three, and had a solid night before surprisingly being withdrawn at halftime.
Jalil Anibaba – 5.9: The veteran defender had a decent night until second half stoppage time, when he was beaten in the air for Miami’s winning goal.
Dave Romney – 6.4: Romney wasn’t at fault for either goal, but wasn’t able to get as involved in possession as usual.
Eric Miller – 5.4: Miller was almost solely culpable on Miami’s goal. His whiffed attempted clearance went right to Blaise Matuidi just outside the box, and then he stabbed at the resulting pass, unable to cut it out before it reached Gonzalo Higuaín. It was a surprising moment from a veteran defender, who has been a consistent performer thus far in 2021.
Dax McCarty – 6.6: The captain played well in midfield, and was able to trouble Miami in possession. He moved back into a hybrid center back role late in the match, and was beaten in the air on the winner.
Aníbal Godoy – 6.4: Godoy made his first start in over a month after suffering an injury on international duty. He was back to his usual form in Ft. Lauderdale, completing 94% of his passes.
Dan Lovitz – 6.6: Lovitz came back in the lineup in place of Taylor Washington, and wasn’t able to impact the game as much as he has in the past. He was reliable out of possession, but couldn’t deliver his typical level of service into the box.
Randall Leal – 6.7: Leal nominally played on the right of the front three, but was tasked with more of a midfield role, dropping in to help McCarty and Godoy. Only managed one shot on the night, and wasn’t able to impact things in the final third as much as usual.
CJ Sapong – 7.6: Sapong scored his sixth goal of the season with a rocket of a header from a corner kick, and was generally a threat throughout his 60 minute shift.
Hany Mukhtar – 7.3: Mukhtar got the assist for Sapong’s goal, and was probably the brightest player over the course of 90 minutes. Always dangerous in one-v-one situations, and came close to a goal on multiple occasions.
Alex Muyl – 5.5: Muyl replaced Maher at halftime, and played as a both a winger and a wingback. Was never able to really get involved in possession, and didn’t impact the game as much as you’d hope for a halftime switch.
Brian Anunga – 6.1: Came on for Godoy with 30 minutes to play, and didn’t misplace a pass.
Aké Loba – 5.5: Loba replaced Sapong in the 61st minute, and never got into the game like you’d expect from such a high-profile signing. He’s clearly still adjusting to life in Nashville, but Nashville need him to impact games quickly. Had a great run late in the match that should have resulted in a goal, but was let down by a really poor finish from…
Jhonder Cádiz – 3.9: Cádiz played the final 15 minutes, and was able to get 11 touches. He had a golden chance to win the game in the 88th minute with a free header from just seven yards out, and completely missed the goal.
You never want to be too harsh or reactionary, but man…. you simply need more there from a Designated Player.
Matt LaGrassa – 5.5: Brought on minutes before Miami’s second goal as an attacking option, but scuffed his one chance from outside the box.
Gary Smith – 5.3: His team looked flat from the outset, and aside from Aké Loba, none of his substitutions really improved the team. The lack of wide attacking options on the bench severely limited his options.
Yes, it’s hard to win on the road in MLS. But Nashville have generally looked conservative on the road, and have seemingly settled for draws when wins were available. His approach to road matches paid off last season, but with early draws at home to start the year, and the lack of a single win away from home this year, he may be forced into a more aggressive approach.