Nashville SC is heading to the MLS Cup playoffs for the second straight year after a wild 6-3 come-from-behind victory against FC Cincinnati.
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 – 5.8: Not his best night, but I’m sure he’ll give this game the bird.
Dan Lovitz – 5.3: Lovitz returned to the side after picking up a knock, but his game rust was showing, as he committed a foul in the box that led to a Cincinnati penalty.
Dave Romney – 5: A rare off night for Romney as he was responsible for two of Cincinnati’s goals in the early going, including one that was an own goal. Considering the side pulled out the victory and how solid he’s been all season, I’m sure Nashville fans are willing to give him a pass.
Walker Zimmerman – 8.3: Zimmerman’s header on goal sparked the Nashville comeback, and he also had the assist to Sapong, but also recorded six clearances.
Alistar Johnston – 7: Won seven duels and completed four accurate long balls.
Anibal Godoy – 7.8: Completed 90% of his passes and had 11 recoveries of the ball, putting in a strong effort in the midfield.
Brian Anunga – 6: A rough night for Anunga, as he was sloppy in possession and lost the majority of his duels. He did hit the post on an attempt on goal from outside the box.
Luke Haakenson – 6.3: Was hardly involved in any of the action and subbed off at the half for Ake Loba to help Nashville overcome their 3-2 deficit.
Hany Mukhtar – 9: Two assists on the night for Mukhtar (technically three as a hockey assist on the set-piece goal that found Zimmerman’s header and Sapong’s shot) to take his total to 12 on the year.
Randall Leal – 9.5: Two fantastic goals from Leal. One on a volley that required perfect timing and technique, and the other to give Nashville the lead.
CJ Sapong – 9: Back on the scoresheet, Sapong finished his chance well from the set-piece and Zimmerman’s header, as well as snagged a second in stoppage time well after the game was decided. Getting him back on a good run of form will be pivotal for Nashville as they head into the postseason.
Ake Loba – 8.8: A goal and an assist for Loba to help ice Nashville’s comeback, this is the version of Loba the club has eagerly been waiting for. Let’s see if he can build off this performance. If so, keep an eye on Nashville in the playoffs.
Taylor Washington – 6.5: Completed 89% of his passes in his limited amount of touches.
Jack Maher – 6: As Nashville took the lead, Maher was brought on for defensive purposes and allowed for Smith to revert to a back three.
Alex Muyl – 6: Only four touches, but was brought on for defensive purposes.
Matt LaGrassa – 6: Came in late in an effort to lock down the midfield.
Gary Smith – 7.5: Smith switched back to a back four in an effort to bring some offense to his side. Quite the contrary, as it was his side who found itself behind the eight ball early. Despite that, he only found himself down 3-2 at the half before inserting Ake Loba, which is when the sparks started to fly. Questions for Smith’s sporadic tactics can be raised, especially heading into the playoffs, but the job was done and now he’s guided the Boys in Gold into the postseason in the two seasons Nashville has been in MLS.
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.