Preview Charlotte FC v Nashville SC

After an extremely disappointing 2-2 draw against the Portland Timbers, the ‘Yotes are back on the road as they travel east to take on Charlotte FC. Can Nashville get back on track after two disappointing results? Will Charlotte be able to get a second win in a row?

Charlotte FC

Current standing: 8th (East) | 7-2-10 | -4 GD
Power Ranking: 21st

OUT: Vinicius Mello (left foot), Adam Armour (left knee)

Charlotte FC’s first season in Major League Soccer, so far, has been about par for a new expansion team. They currently find themselves just two points out of the playoff spots in the Eastern conference. They wont hit the heights that Nashville SC did in their inaugural season, but they have far exceeded expectations.

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Going into the season, most MLS pundits, including those at Broadway Sports, picked Charlotte to finish dead last with the Wooden Spoon. While they certainly are not last, they have had their share of challenges this season including the firing of Head Coach Miguel Ángel Ramírez.

Since the firing of Ramírez, Charlotte has put together an impressive 2-1-2 record with wins over both New York Red Bulls and the Houston Dynamo. They come into tonight’s match looking for a second win in a row.

With the firing of Miguel Ángel Ramírez, Christian Lattanzio stepped in as the interim coach for the season and has largely had the team playing a familiar shape. Charlotte will lineup up in either a 4-1-4-1 or a 4-4-1-1 depending on the opponent and usually opt for the extra midfielder while on the road.

Against the ‘Yotes, expect to see them lineup in the 4-4-1-1 as they will look to create as many chances while at home. Much like Nashville in year one, Charlotte has struggle to score goals with only 19 goals in 19 games. The defense has been solid, giving up only two more goals than Nashville but without scoring have struggled for results.

Their main attacking threats have come from Andre Shinyaskiki and Karol Świderski who have four goals a piece. Świderski was Charlotte’s big DP signing and the Polish international has taken some time to get acclimated to the league. When he gets service, he can pose to be quite a threat.

Charlotte will need all of the attacking firepower they can get if they are going to overturn Nashville SC.

Nashville SC

Current standing: 6th (West) | 7-6-5 | +3 GD
Power Ranking: 7th

OUT: Handwalla Bwana (thigh), Robert Castellanos (ankle), Aníbal Godoy (thigh)

The match against the Portland Timbers was nothing short of deflating. Only securing a draw after going up 2-0 is frustrating no matter the circumstances, but do that at home it hurts just a bit more. The Boys in Gold will have put the result behind them as they prepare for a tough three-match stretch.

Winning on the road is never easy in MLS but Nashville proved during their eight-match road trip that they are capable of doing so and with the season a little over halfway finished, they are going to need to get points tonight if they want to continue to move up the table.

Against Portland, Coach Gary Smith put out an almost full-strength lineup aside from the omission of Alex Muyl due to health and safety protocols. Muyl looks to have cleared those protocols and will be back available tonight.

While Nashville comes into tonight’s game with a full week of rest, Nashville does have a midweek match against the Seattle Sounders. When picking tonight’s squad he will have to keep fitness and rotation in mind.

The biggest question coming in to tonight’s match is what does Coach Smith do at the goalkeeper position. Eliot Panicco started both the U.S. Open Cup match against Orlando and the league match against Portland but after two straight matches with mistakes, does veteran Joe Willis reclaim his spot?

Nashville will have to fix their defensive lapses if they are going to convert those draws into wins.

Pod picks

Andy Simmons

Score: Charlotte 1 – 1 Nashville
Scores: Alex Muyl
MOTM: Alex Muyl
Bold Prediction: Daniel Ríos scores for Charlotte

Lucas Panzica

Score: Charlotte 1 – 1 Nashville
Scorers: Walker Zimmerman
MOTM: Walker Zimmerman
Bold Prediction: Aké Loba comes on before the 80th minute

Jonathan Slape

Score: Charlotte 1 – 2 Nashville
Scorers:  Randall Leal, Hany Mukhtar
MOTM: Sean Davis
Bold Prediction: Aké Loba comes off the bench and assists

Ben Wright

Score: Charlotte 1 – 2 Nashville
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, Randall Leal
MOTM: Randall Leal
Bold Prediction: Leal has a goal and an assist

Fan Forecast

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Match Info

Teams: Charlotte FC vs Nashville SC
Odds: Charlotte (+125), Draw (+230), Nashville (+210) via BetMGM
Date: Sunday, July 9
Time: 6:00 PM Central, Bank of America S, Charlotte, North Carolina.
Radio: iHeartRadio Online (English); El Jefe 96.7 (Spanish)
Forecast: 92°/71°. Scattered Thunderstorms 50% chance of rain. 73% humidity

Author: Jonathan Slapeoriginated from outside of Atlanta but has lived in Nashville since 2005. Original member of Speedway Soccer and has been talking and occasionally writing about Nashville SC since the USL days. Self proclaimed official fashion correspondent. Outside of Nashville SC you can find him singing the praises of Jurgen Klopp, discussing the latest in sneakers and soccer fashion with a good stiff drink.

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