Player ratings: Nashville SC 3-1 DC United

The Boys in Gold picked up a much-needed 3-1 road victory against DC United Saturday.

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 – 6.5: Willis needed this bounce-back performance arguably more than any other player in the Nashville starting 11, and although he was unable to preserve the clean sheet (with the goal conceded not his fault), the two saves he recorded will help him regain his confidence.

Dan Lovitz – 8.2: Lovitz found himself in the right place at the right time for Nashville’s opening goal, as a miscommunication by the DC defense led to a poor clearance, in which Lovitz was able to pounce on and hammer home his attempt.

Jack Maher – 6.7: Wasn’t Maher’s best day distribution-wise, as he only completed 70% of his passes and 1-of-6 long balls. He did have eight clearances, though.

Walker Zimmerman – 7: Zimmerman’s reintroduction to the side paid massive dividends, as the back line looked much more organized and tougher to break down with him orchestrating things in the middle.

Dave Romney – 6.7: Won half of his duels and 71% of the aerial duels that came his way.

Dax McCarty – 7.5: Could have easily gone at goal with an attempt when he was sprung through by Randall Leal, but instead went with the smart play and played the ball across the face of goal for an incoming Hany Mukhtar who finished the shot unopposed.

Sean Davis – 7: Won two tackles, all of his duels, and completed 84% of his passes. A truly all-around solid performance for Davis, who has rarely put a wrong foot down since coming to Music City.

Alex Muyl – 5.8: Although Muyl has been really coming along offensively and his defense continues to impress, he had a bit of lapse of judgment when there was some confusion on man-marking assignments, which led to Taxiarchis Fountas scoring DC United’s lone goal.

Randall Leal – 7.7: Like Zimmerman, Leal’s return to the starting lineup cannot be understated, as he brought a different sort of dynamic and pace Nashville had been lacking since his injury. His reading of the play allowed him to intercept the DC buildup and spring Nashville on the counter with his through ball to McCarty which led to Nashville’s second goal.

Hany Mukhtar – 9:  Mukhtar’s brace came at a great time when the team had been struggling offensively to find goals. Although a bit fortunate on the deflection for his second, they still all count the same. Nashville’s DP was already in good form individually as far as his play goes before this match, but if he gets hot and starts banging in goals, it could be a special July for the Boys in Gold.

CJ Sapong – 5.8: Sapong really asserted himself into the attack with his holdup play, as the DC United defense fouled him four times. He had zero shots on the day though, so hopefully that changes in the next match.

SUBS

Luke Haakenson (on ′62) – 5.8: Had one shot from way downtown that was a fair effort, but other than a few passes and a yellow card, that was his only contribution on the day.

Ake Loba (on ’74) – 6: Loba’s day wasn’t as lively as last week against Sporting KC, but he still contributed with a key pass and some clever dribbling. Will he be featured as one of the main men up top for Nashville’s Open Cup quarterfinal against Orlando City? He’s making a good case for it.

Brian Anunga (on ′74) – 5.5: Had a couple of recoveries, but picked up a yellow card in his efforts.

Taylor Washington (on ′86) – 5.5: Brought on late to lock down the flanks in the final minutes of the match.

Ethan Zubak (on ′86) – 5.5: Brought on near the end of the match to hold up the play a bit. Could be one of the starters for Nashville’s Open Cup match vs. Orlando City.

MANAGER

Gary Smith – 7.3: Smith’s lineup and tactics certainly looked different with some key players returning from injury, and the 3-4-3 formation was much more menacing on the attacking front than what we’ve been seeing the past few weeks. Yesterday’s performance should give Nashville the confidence it needs heading into the Open Cup quarterfinal and a testy July slate, which includes a visit from last year’s MLS Cup runner-up in Portland, a trip to Daniel Rios’ Charlotte FC, and welcoming in a new-look LAFC.

What say you? Do you agree or disagree with our match ratings? Feel free to reach out to us on Twitter and let us know your thoughts.

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