Player Ratings: Nashville SC 1-1 LAFC

Nashville SC and last year’s MLS Cup champions LAFC split the points Saturday night in a 1-1 draw at Geodis Park.

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 – 7.5: Another fine showing for Willis, despite giving up an equalizer in the second half that was due to his defense not closing down Denis Bouanga in a timely manner.

Dan Lovitz – 5: Was shifted to center back after Walker Zimmerman’s withdrawal, and it was apparent that he was not suited for that central position. He did record four tackles on the night, but Nashville fans will be hopeful that that’s his last time in a central role.

Jack Maher – 6.2: Completed the most passes out of any Nashville outfield player (63) and had nine clearances, as well as won all of his ground duels.

Walker Zimmerman – 6.7: Zimmerman was withdrawn early in the second half after a solid outing. His exit was apparently out of an abundance of caution due to his involvement in the midweek USA vs. Mexico match.

Shaq Moore – 6.3: Won 75% of his ground duels and completed 67% of his dribbles with 11 passes into the final third.

Alex Muyl – 5.3: Was effective with his dribbling and had a good work rate like he normally does. His crosses were not the most convincing, and he missed on a few tackles.

Anibal Godoy –5.7 : Godoy was involved in a lot of physical tussles in the middle, as he was the most fouled player in the match, drawing three. His accurate long balls (83%) certainly kept the LAFC defense on their toes.

Dax McCarty – 6.8: McCarty’s past few matches coming off the bench as a sub have seen him perform well in those cameos, and he carried that good form into his starting opportunity for the 400th time in his regular season MLS career, with 10 passes into the final third and completing 80% of his long balls.

Fafà Picault – 6.5: Completed the most dribbles out of any Nashville SC player, but only at a 38% success rate.

Hany Mukhtar – 7.7: Right place, right time for Mukhtar, who was able to pounce on a loose ball in the box and slash it home for Nashville’s lone goal of the night. Had a bit of a tough time holding on to the ball, as he was dispossessed seven times.

Teal Bunbury – 6.2: Was technically credited with the assist for Nashville’s goal after the ball hit off his body and fell to Mukhtar. Wasn’t particularly effective in the holdup play either with only one pass into the final third, and completing one successful dribble.

Substitutes

Taylor Washington – 5.5: Was subbed on for Zimmerman and shifted over to left back, but completed none of his three cross attempts.

Jacob Shaffelburg – 5.2: Had a close range effort that was not on target, but did complete 50% of his dribbles.

CJ Sapong – 5.5: Turns out this was Sapong’s last appearance for Nashville SC, who did win 80% of his aerial duels and had a great opportunity at close range.

Jan Gregus – 6.2A decent cameo for Gregus, who made three tackles, won 80% of his ground duels, and had five passes into the final third.

Josh Bauer – 5.7: Bauer came on to help solidify the back line a bit, winning his lone duel and making two recoveries.

Manager

Gary Smith – : Certainly the most puzzling move of the night was Smith withdrawing Zimmerman and shifting Lovitz to the center back, which almost immediately led to LAFC’s equalizer and killed off all the momentum Nashville had garnered in the first half with their free-flowing play. Sure, an precaution to Zimmerman’s health after he had international duty in the middle of the week played a role in the sub, but it also showed Nashville’s lack of depth at the center back position, which was addressed this week in the trade for Lukas MacNaughton.

Regardless, a point against a team of LAFC’s caliber is nothing to be upset about, but the way it was obtained after taking the initial lead will certainly leave a sense of frustration. Two matches now await this week, with a US Open Cup draw against San Antonio FC Wednesday and a lunch time clash with eastern foes Atlanta United Saturday.

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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