The ‘Yotes kickstarted their season with a 1-0 statement win against Seattle Sounders on the road 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 – 7.3: Three saves for Willis on the night, who will once again look to lead the league in clean sheets.
Dan Lovitz – 7.5: Put in a great shift keeping Cristian Roldan in check on the left flank.
Dave Romney – 7.3: Romney completed 81% of his passes and won all six of his aerial duels. A big point of emphasis for Romney and the defense was defending better on set pieces, and early signs indicate they’ve cleaned that up.
Walker Zimmerman – 8.0: Seven clearances (four aerial) for Zimmerman showed why he’s the reigning back-to-back defensive player of the year in MLS. He’ll once again be in the running for that award.
Eric Miller – 7.0: Miller has had his fair share of criticism and will see his role increased with the departure of Alistar Johnston. That said, he kept Jordan Morris in check the vast majority of the match.
Sean Davis – 7.5 : Not a bad debut for Davis, who completed the most dribbles forward and won 60% of his duels.
Anibal Godoy – 8.3: Even without the match-winner, Godoy would’ve probably gotten some nods for the man of the match, putting in a solid shift in the middle. Made no mistake with his finish, made easier by an excellent run to the back post.
Dax McCarty – 7.8: We’ve seen McCarty play in this makeshift six/center back role before where he servers as a bit of a “stopper” role. He completed 91% of his passes and won 60% of his duels.
Hany Mukhtar – 8.0: At one point Mukhtar was the only driving force behind Nashville’s offense, recording three shots and three key passes. It’s a bad thing if he’s the focal point because we’ve seen him carry the offense before, but some support will be needed if Nashville is going to string together a successful campaign in 2022.
Randall Leal – 7.5: Whipped in a fabulous low cross for Godoy to smash home, but was a little suspect with his dribbling. Put in an intense defensive shift, and will continue to grow in his attacking influence.
CJ Sapong – 6.8: Sapong was a bit invisible until late in the second half when he made a few plays. Surely the goals will come once he’s found his form.
Teal Bunbury – 6.8: Bunbury had the initial attack that helped lead to Nashville’s lone goal. His versatility to play multiple spots on the front line will be key for Nashville.
Aké Loba – 6.0: Fans wanted to see Loba get the starting nod after that exciting highlight of his goal in preseason, but it doesn’t make sense to disrupt the synergy of the Leal-Mukhtar-Sapong front line that worked so well last year. Regardless, it was good to see Loba get in there and get some minutes.
Alex Muyl – 6.0: Muyl’s high energy on the wings was brought on to help preserve the shutout and keep the flanks in check.
Jack Maher – 6.0: Brought on for defensive purposes after Nashville told its lead.
Gary Smith – 9.5: As vintage a Gary Smith performance as you’ll see. Smith clogged the middle with the three midfielders and forced the Sounders to try and beat them from the wings with crosses, knowing good and well that Zimmerman might be the league’s best aerial defender. While the offense was a bit lackadaisical and Mukhtar reliant early on, the introduction of Teal Bunbury helped put the offense in high gear and led to their lone goal. An outstanding start to their long road tilt to begin the season.
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.