Nashville SC shook off its previous week of road woes with an emphatic 5-2 victory against DC United Sunday.
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: Conceded two tough goals. The first on a header from a corner kick that was too close range for him to deal with, and a second where he was caught in no man’s land
Dave Romney – 7.4: Romney was strong in the air and had a strong tackle or two to stifle the DC attack.
Jalil Anibaba – 6.1: Got involved on the offensive side on a shot that went wide. Did decent with his defensive duties, but was withdrawn in favor of the returning Walker Zimmerman.
Jack Maher – 5.9: Unlucky for Maher to miss his mark on the Ola Kamara goal, but in fairness he was put in an awkward spot due to the quality of Paul Arriola’s ball. Also lost has marker on the first goal.
Daniel Lovitz – 7.4: Lovitz continues to make the passes that set up the goals. The first was for Mukhtar on his assist. The second was for Muyl.
Alistar Johnston – 7: Johnston’s switch of play that led to Nashville’s second goal was absolute class. He was also unlucky not to score in the opening minutes, as he had a shot blocked off the line.
Dax McCarty – 7.1: McCarty made his 400th MLS appearance, an impressive feat that shows his durability. He had the joint-highest duels won percentage and had one shot from distance that ended up being a comfortable save.
Anibal Godoy – 7.1: Godoy looks like he’s back to full strength after his recent injury woes, as he continuously won the ball off DC midfielders and provided distribution for a number of Nashville’s attacking buildup.
Hany Mukhtar – 8.7: Had the highest XG+XA on the night at an astonishing .99. Are we ready for the inevitable Hany Mukhtar darkhorse MVP campaign?
Randall Leal – 7.3: Provided the cross for the equalizer to make it 1-1 and served up three key passes. He might’ve had a few more assists on some of his low crosses if there were back post runners in the area.
CJ Sapong – 9.4: This was perhaps Sapong’s best match since he joined Nashville. He was a threat in the air, as evident by his two goals that were headers. He also had wonderful linkup play with those around him with three key passes, and drew defenders away from Mukhtar while he was off the ball. He’s scored six goals in his last six starts, so it’ll be hard for him to be pulled from the lineup.
Walker Zimmerman – 6.6: Zimmerman made his return after sustaining an injury on international duty in the Gold Cup. His aerial presence helped the side see out the victory. I imagine he’ll be back to his normal starting position Wednesday.
Alex Muyl – 8.9: Muyl closed out the match by delivering two goals off the bench. One was a brilliant turn and shot, and the other was a calmly taken penalty.
Brian Anunga – 6.8: Anunga had a great dribble sequence and pass to help set up Nashville’s fourth goal after coming off the bench.
Ake Loba – 6.1: Not too much activity for Loba, but did work hard in his limited minutes.
Daniel Rios – 6.9: Rios’ return to Nissan Stadium was greeted with cheers and glee, and he repaid the fans by working hard to track down the ball and put pressure on DC’s backline.
Gary Smith – 8.6: Easily the best offensive performance since the last time Nashville put up five goals against Chicago Fire a few weeks back, Smith has clearly found the magic formula with the 3-4-3 formation with Sapong, Mukhtar, and Leal leading the offensive charge, and beat DC United at their own game. It’s also a massive answer to the critics after the abysmal two-point in three matches road trip. The question now, is can Smith motivate his side to take this same form away from Nissan Stadium. Of course, a daunting homestand against Orlando City also awaits.
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!