Welcome to the first Speedway Soccer ratings of the 2021 season! The Boys in Gold overcame an early 2-0 deficit and split the points with FC Cincinnati in a 2-2 draw.
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 – 5.3: Coming off a career year in 2020, Willis’ season got off to a nightmare start after missing a sliding save and conceding a penalty on a fairly clumsy challenge early in the match. After that, he didn’t see much action due to Nashville’s dominance on the ball.
Daniel Lovitz – 7: Lovitz did an exceptional job with his defensive duties, and also put pressure on Cincinnati’s backline on the right side with Leal, where the majority of Nashville’s attacking came from.
Dave Romney – 6.5: Had a great opportunity for the game-winner on a header from a Mukhtar free-kick.
Walker Zimmerman – 6.7: The MLS defender of the year looked solid in his first match, stiffiling Cincinnati’s buildup on multiple occasions. Always a threat in the air, he also had a few opportunities in the opposite box with his dangerous headers.
Alistar Johnston – 6.3: Usually a threat going forward, Johnston was not as involved in this go-around due to having to keep an eye out for Cincinnati’s aggressive play from the left flank.
Dax McCarty – 5: It was not the best outing for Nashville’s captain, as his touch was heavy and he only completed 73% of his passes from the midfield, as well as lost his marker on the through ball that step up Lucho Acosta’s opener. You have to believe that better days are ahead for McCarty though.
Anibal Godoy – 7.7: The same cannot be said for McCarty’s partner in the midfield, however, who controlled the middle very well and also made the forward run with the ball that set up Jhonder Cadiz’s goal.
Alex Muyl – 6: Like Johnston, Muyl had to sit back a lot and cover the left side a ton. His involvement in the attack was minimal, and the times he did contribute turned out to be a nonfactor.
Hany Mukhtar – 6.8: Probably should have had a penalty called in his favor, but regardless, Mukhtar put in a good shift and also got a full 90 minutes in. An encouraging sign for one of Nashville’s designated players. Speaking of DPs…..
Randall Leal – 8.8: Was Leal’s goalazo supposed to be a cross? Probably, but it was still special nontheless and will no doubt be a nominee for GOTW for week 1. Leal also put in a great cross to Cadiz for his goal, and was just an absolute menace for the Cincinnati defense to deal with.
Jhonder Cadiz – 7.7: Cadiz’s tap-in finish on the back post for Nashville’s first goal of the season looked routine, and the big No. 9 was strong in his holdup play, causing the Cincinnati backline to try and outmuscle him for challenges in the air, which usually didn’t go so well. Had a few more opportunities to bag his second before going off.
Handwalla Bwana – 6.7: Bwana made some really good runs both on and off the ball, and should’ve finished an empty netter if not for a great Przemyslaw Tyton save (he had a few of those.) He brought a more dynamic style of play off the bench in relief of Muyl, which Nashville will definitely benefit from.
CJ Sapong – 7: With no Daniel Rios on the bench, Sapong acted as the first striker option off the bench, and really had some great opportunities to find a game-winner, most notably on a half-volley and a high header.
Gary Smith – 7: Smith kept his cool after going down 2-0 and let his formation and tactics bring them back into the match. It’s clear, from the 30 odd shots Nashville produced, that this side can be a lethal attacking one. Combine that with Smith’s defensive history, and there’s a lot for Nashville fans to be optimistic about.
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!