Player Ratings: Nashville SC 2-0 CF Montréal

Nashville SC knocked off CF Montréal on Saturday night, beating the Canadian side 2-0 in a downpour.

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.

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  • 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 – 7.0: It wasn’t a hugely busy night for Willis. In fact, he didn’t have to make a save. But he commanded his box well, coming off his line to claim a couple dangerous crosses. Three clean sheets in three games is all you can ask for.

Dan Lovitz – 6.0: Lovitz struggled a bit with his distribution, completing just 63% of his passes. He was tactically flexible, though, shifting to play as a left-sided center back when Nashville switched to a back three.

Jack Maher – 7.3: Maher was strong defensively, and he’s becoming more ambitious with his passing each game.

Walker Zimmerman – 7.3: Zimmerman was more quiet from attacking set pieces than usual, but typically solid in defense and he organized the backline calmly.

Shaq Moore – 7.8: Solid defensively all night, Moore played a fantastic cross in to Taylor Washington for the second goal. A good glimpse of his skillset, and hopefully a sign of things to come.

Jacob Shaffelburg – 8.3: Shaffelburg remains a tireless runner down the left flank. His defensive work doesn’t get the praise it deserves, and he’s selfless in possession. The runs he makes, even knowing he won’t get the ball, open up all kinds of space for Hany Mukhtar to operate. Also, can we talk about that finish? Two goals in three games for the Canadian; he’s off to a flying start.

Dax McCarty – 7.5: Starting his second consecutive match, McCarty tied Jeff Larentowicz for the third-most matches started in MLS history. The veteran had a strong showing. He didn’t just maintain possession, but broke lines and put Nashville’s forwards in good positions.

Sean Davis – 6.8: Davis’s contributions don’t always show up on the stat sheet, but he had a hand in both goals. He played the pass to Mukhtar to set up Shaffelburg’s goal, and linked up well with Alex Muyl in the buildup to Taylor Washington’s strike.

Fafà Picault – 6.5: Picault was a willing runner as usual, but his influence in the final third dropped off a bit. He had a couple half chances, but Kamal Miller did well to marshal him.

Hany Mukhtar – 7.8: Mukhtar looked very much in form in his first start of the season. He’s lethal in open space, and his four chances created were the most on the pitch. His turn to set up Shaffelburg’s goal was a thing of beauty, and the connection between the pair continues to grow.

Teal Bunbury – 4.5: It was a really mixed bag for the veteran forward. He’s generally held the ball up well this season and his passing has been a positive, but he struggled on the night. He missed a couple wide open runners in transition, but most notably he hit the post on a breakaway that gave him all the time and space he could have wanted. It’s a chance forwards have to score at this level.

Substitutes

Alex Muyl – 6.5: The winger replaced Picault with around 30 minutes to go, and was reliable as always. He shifted to a more central role once Nashville went with a back five and was tidy in possession. Played a part in Nashville’s second goal, interchanging well with Shaq Moore.

Taylor Washington – 7.8: The longest-tenured member of Nashville SC got his first-ever MLS goal in style, craftily beating his defender before smashing a volley in at the near post. It was atypical of Washington, but very well deserved.

Brian Anunga – 6.3: On to close things down for the final 15 minutes, Anunga was strong defensively, and has showed more forward passing ability in the last couple matches than we’ve seen before.

C.J. Sapong – 6.3: Sapong replaced Bunbury with 15 minutes to go and was lively, linking play well relieving pressure.

Ethan Zubak – N/A: Zubak came on in the 90th minute, and got involved quickly, completing five passes and injecting some energy into Nashville’s front line.

Manager

Gary Smith – 6.0: Nashville are unbeaten and have yet to concede this season, and have leaned into their pragmatic identity at home. They’re happy to cede possession and hit on the counter, and it worked against the Impact. Hopefully more willingness to play with the ball is in the future. Smith’s decision to name two goalkeepers to the bench, instead of calling up one of the wingers Nashville signed this offseason, was an odd decision.

Author: Broadway Sports The administrator of Broadway Sports Media, and the ultimate authority on Broadway.

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