Player Ratings: Real Salt Lake vs. Nashville SC

Nashville’s first away match of the season against Real Salt Lake saw an impression defensive performance, but the Boys in Gold could not muster a goal, resulting in a 0-0 draw Saturday night.

Below are our player ratings.

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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 – 7: Willis faced zero shots on target, but still had a moment or two where he had to react to some crosses. This is Willis’ third consecutive clean sheet, a positive from the result.

Daniel Lovitz – 7: A rather uncharacteristic performance from Lovitz, as his service from set-pieces, and in general, was so-so and had a couple of errant passes. Still, he defended well on his flank.

Dave Romney – 8.3:  Romney continues to be a rock in the back, cutting off passes and winning 67% of his duels.

Walker Zimmerman – 8.3: And like his partner in crime, Zimmerman was immense. He had a couple of key clearances that kept the Real strikers at bay, and was hard to get by in the air. His MOTM award was definitely deserved.

Alistar Johnston – 7: Johnston’s crossing has been hit-or-miss this season. Sometimes the delivery is unstoppable, other times it’s too telegraphed. The latter was one of those times Saturday night.

Dax McCarty – 7: Another solid shift from McCarty, who is working really hard in that midfield to win balls and distribute to the strikers.

Anibal Godoy – 6.5: Godoy had one foul call go against him that were questionable, but he also had another that was justified. He’ll have to clean some of those up, otherwise, he’ll start seeing more yellow in the future. Did, however, have the highest passing accuracy on the night at 98%.

Alex Muyl – 6.3: After a MOTM performance last time out against New England, Muyl did not contribute much and also got nutmegged on one occasion.

Randall Leal – 6.5: Lead the side in shots (three) and shots on target (two), one of which made David Ochoa bobble.

CJ Sapong – 6.3: Sapong couldn’t make it two matches in a row with a goal. We’ll have to wait and see if Gary Smith decides to go back to a lone striker system next match against Austin FC.

Dominique Badji – 5.5: Badji gave Nashville fans a sense of renowned hope from his performance against New England. However, his touch and passing were rather average in his second consecutive start.


Jhonder Cadiz – 6: Cadiz had a great header on target, but it was right at the middle of the goal and at Ochoa. Did bring a different dimension though with his size, which caused the Real Salt Lake defense some concern on crosses.

Hany Mukhtar – 5.5:  Mukhtar, after missing last week’s game, was brought on to try and provide some passage of play in the middle. However, he just didn’t have enough time to grow in to the match. His passing was a bit off, as he had Cadiz on a break in space and waited too late to spring him.

Luke Haakenson – 6:  A lively showing from Haakenson, who wasn’t afraid to take chances with his dribbling.

Taylor Washington – 6.3: Brought in late for defensive purposes to help preserve the draw.

Matt LaGrassa – 6.3: Also brought on as a defensive stallwarth in the middle of the park to help preserve the draw.


Gary Smith – 6.3: After last week’s impressive showing with the 4-4-2 formation, Smith decided to roll with the same personnel for the team’s first away match. The defensive plan went as good as it could have. However, the buildup and play in the final third was lacking. Should Smith have recognized that at half and made a change back to the 4-2-3-1 then instead of later? Maybe, but gathering a point on the road while holding your opponent to no shots on target is still somewhat of a positive. Of course, he’ll be preaching to his side to not make a habit of being so lethargic in the final third.

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!

Author: Andy Simmonsjoined Speedway Soccer after stints with Golden Goal and 615 Formation. A former journalist now in web development, Simmons also previously worked for Main Street Media and Gannett. A student of the game, Simmons has been playing soccer his entire life and participates in several adult soccer leagues around town. When he is not playing soccer, you can find him at brunch, rewatching Rick and Morty or The Office, doing a mock draft for fantasy football, or complaining about Arsenal.

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