Player Ratings: Sporting KC 2-1 Nashville SC

The Boys in Gold lost at home for the first time in nearly a year-and-a-half in a 2-1 defeat against Sporting KC 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 – 3.5: Willis has no excuse for letting in the opening goal on the free-kick, as he has to cover that post better. An overall poor performance from the veteran goalkeeper, who might be feeling Panicco breathing down his neck soon for his starting spot.

Dan Lovitz – 5.7: Lovitz had some sloppy possessions, but did complete the most dribbles and hit 50% of his long balls.

Jack Maher – 6: With no Zimmerman to call upon, Maher once again took on the role of directing traffic in the middle of the backline. He made 11 recoveries and also completed the most passes out of all Nashville players.

Eric Miller – 5.2: Miller won half of his duels, but his ball possession and judgment was pretty questionable at times.

Dave Romney – 5: Romney returned to the starting lineup after a brief absence, but it’s apparent that he’s not necessarily match fit between the international break and missing the match against San Jose.

Anibal Godoy – 5.7: Completed 93% of his passes and logged a tackle, but also picked up a yellow card in his efforts.

Sean Davis – 5.7: Davis had some errant passes and was dispossessed, mainly due to a clogged midfield with little to no room to operate.

Brian Anunga – 4.5: Anunga didn’t grow into the game accordingly and never looked comfortable sharing the middle with Davis and Godoy, which forced a sub at halftime in order to try and bolster the attack.

Alex Muyl – 6.5: Muyl was a real bright spot for Nashville with eight (!) tackles on the day. He was moved back as a right-back later in the match due to formation adjustments, which helped contribute to his excellent defensive performance.

Hany Mukhtar – 6.5:  Hany had trouble breaking through on Sporting KC defense early on due to committing higher up the pitch with Sapong and away from the midfield, but he really came through in the second half as an offensive catalyst in the second half, completing three key passes. Unfortunate to mistime his run that was called offside and led to a tap-in goal by Sapong.

CJ Sapong – 5.5: Only 16 touches for Sapong, while being dispossessed twice. The narrative for him changes a bit if the tap-in goal is allowed, but Sapong also didn’t have many favors since there was no true channel between him and the midfield like normally.

SUBS

Ake Loba (on ’45) – 7.7: The match turned on its head after Loba came on the break, as he was terrorizing the Sporting KC defense constantly. His goal gave Nashville much-needed life, and he was involved in every big chance they had down the stretch in some form or fashion.

Dax McCarty (on ′64) – 5.5: Won all four of his duels and made some good runs with the ball.

Taylor Washington (on ′64) – 5.5: Had a couple of cross attempts and won one tackle during his time on the left flank.

Randall Leal (on ′76) – 5.8: Leal made his long-awaited return from injury off the bench, and of course, his first touch was a shot at goal. Can’t script this kind of stuff. Anyways, he looked solid and it will be good to get someone with his attacking pedigree integrated back into the lineup.

MANAGER

Gary Smith – 4: A quite puzzling decision by Smith to clog the midfield with three number 6’s and sit back against one of the Western Conference’s worst teams. It was only after the introduction of Ake Loba that Nashville really started threatening on goal, but even then, they might have gotten a bit unfortunate on some late calls. Regardless, the starting 11 set the tone for how Smith wanted his team to play, which is a bit disappointing, and now Nashville has only secured one point in the past two home matches against two bottom-dwellers in the Western Conference. A trip to equally lowly DC United awaits, and if Nashville can’t grab three points from that trip, the alarm bells might start sounding off a bit.

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.

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