Nashville’s historic first season in MLS continues on in to the postseason, as the Boys in Gold routed Inter Miami 3-0 Friday for the club’s first MLS Cup Playoff win.
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 – 6.8: Not a particularly busy night for Willis, but I’m sure he won’t complain, as he logged his 10th clean sheet of the season in the victory.
Daniel Lovitz – 7.3: There was a small hiccup in Lovitz’s play that led to a Miami corner, but still solid as always from his post.
Dave Romney – 7.2: Romney continues his ironman campaign as the only outfield player to have logged a full 90 minutes in every match this year.
Walker Zimmerman – 8: MLS’s defender of the year showed exactly why he was worthy of such an accolade, winning all of his aerial battles and disrupting Miami’s buildup.
Alistar Johnston – 7.2: Nothing too flashy from Johnston, who did pick up a yellow card for a shot to the face.
Dax McCarty – 8.3: McCarty showed he can do it all in this match, with an emphatic run towards goal that led to the dagger when Miami did not close him down quick enough. He also had a great defense play tracking down Piazzaro to prevent and kind of shot.
Anibal Godoy – 8: Godoy absolutely bossed around Will Trapp and Blaise Matuidi in the middle, disrupting their play early and often.
Alex Muyl – 7.5: Nashville’s true workhorse out on the flanks, Muyl did have the fortunate flick off his heel fall to Leal that set up the goal.
Hany Mukhtar – 9.2: Mukhtar really showed his quality against the suspect Miami defense, constantly going at them on the dribble and delivering crisp passes all over the field. It didn’t hurt that he converted his penalty, only Nashville’s second all year.
Randall Leal – 9: Leal’s blistering goal from around 30 yards out set the tone for how Nashville’s night was going to go. A confident Leal with that much space to rip one from distance is a dangerous Leal.
Jhonder Cadiz – 7.8: Cadiz’s first start could not have gone any better (well, maybe a goal would’ve been nice). He had exceptional holdup play, and his movement off the ball helped Leal create his goal. He keeps this up, and he’ll be a problem in these playoffs.
Daniel Rios – 7: Rios’ best chance after coming on was a blocked shot. Had he scored, it would have just been a cherry on top.
Derrick Jones– 7: Hard for him to replicate the quality that Mukhtar showed, but who really could? Still, Jones did his job wel
Handwalla Bwana – 7: Didn’t need to do much since the game was well in-hand when he entered, but you can tell the quality he brings on the flanks with his dynamic runs. Could prove to be a factor in Nashville’s next match.
Brian Anunga – 7.3: What McCarty and Godoy started with dominating the midfield, Anunga was able to finish coming in for relief of Godoy.
Taylor Washington – 6.7: Nashville’s designated defensive substitute for the flanks came in and kept Inter Miami in check in the dying embers of the match.
Gary Smith – 9.5: You can make an argument that Inter Miami was not at full strength due to their sudden COVID outbreak, but the fact is Smith’s side was the better prepared and it showed in the quality of play. His side was threatening on the offensive side, dominant in the midfield, and suffocating on defense. An all-around fantastic tactical showing by Nashville SC and it’s head coach, who seem to have dialed up Uncle Mo at the right time and will be a challenge for Toronto.
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!