Player Ratings: Nashville SC 3-0 Chicago Fire

The ‘Yotes extinguished any sort of attempts of an upset from the lowly Chicago Fire, with a 3-0 win Saturday 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 – 6.5: Joe didn’t have to say no too many times, only facing five shots all night and recording three saves.

Dan Lovitz – 7.5: Created three chances and had five passes into the final third, and also won 80% of his ground duels.

Jack Maher – 8: Maher saw a ton of offensive looks on set pieces with four shots and had an xG of .45, which is pretty involved for a center back. He needed to be that threat in the box on those set pieces in Walker Zimmerman’s absence. Speaking of…

Lukas MacNaughton – 8: With Zimmerman a scratch on the night, MacNaughton slotted in and had an excellent showing in his first start for Nashville. He logged three interceptions and added a clearance to his name. Also had a couple of quality chances with two shots.

Shaq Moore – 7.5: Moore wasn’t too stellar with his long distribution (40%), but he certainly made up for it with his tackling and recoveries.

Alex Muyl – 7.5: Muyl was dribbled past on five different occasions, making him a bit of a liability on the night. However, he certainly made up for it with his offensive involvement, where he had three shots and was 100% on his long balls and crosses.

Anibal Godoy – 8.5: Completed 94% of his passes and was successful in two different dribbles to break through to the Chicago final third. He also won 80% of his ground duels.

Dax McCarty – 8: McCarty sat back as a true 6 in front of the back line and won 50% of his duels, while also being that effective passing channel between the defenders and attackers. He also helped draw the first penalty before the half with his near post run on a corner where he was dragged down. Surely any sort of questions about McCarty at this point early on have been answered with how well he’s played in his most recent matches.

Jacob Shaffelburg – 8: Shaffelburg went at the Chicago defense all night with his piercing dribbling, and also helped Nashville win its second penalty with a long run with the ball from midfield in which he was brought down in the box.

Hany Mukhtar – 9.5: Mukhtar always seems to raise his game to another level when he plays Chicago, as he once again put three into the back of the net. Granted, two were penalties, but those still need to be converted. He ended up finishing with a 2.72 xG.

Teal Bunbury – 6.5: A quiet night for Bunbury, who played a supporter role and completed 88% of his passes, but was not effective in the air, winning 30% of his aerial duels.

Substitutes

Taylor Washington – 6.5: Won all three ground duels and completed 88% of his passes for a solid cameo.

Ethan Zubak – 6: Had a great look in the box during his minutes, and won 63% of his aerial duels.

Sean Davis– 6: Had two interceptions, but was dribbled past twice.

Jan Gregus – 6.5: Completed all but one of his nine passes and had two recoveries.

Fafà Picault – 7: Even during his limited time, Fafà had some offensive looks and created some excellent chances for himself.

Manager

Gary Smith – 8.5: Smith shifted his lineup a bit to a diamond formation in the midfield, with McCarty at the base in front of the backline and Mukhtar in a true 10 role. The move paid dividends, as Nashville looked lethal with 30 total shots and a staggering 4.97 xG. Some will argue that this could be a outlier given how much Chicago have struggled since the season started, but it’s certainly still an encouraging sign with how Nashville can sometimes appear stagnant on offense. Up next is a midweek U.S. Open Cup clash with FC Dallas, followed by a trip to D.C. United.

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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