Preview: Nashville SC vs New England Revolution

Nashville SC look to follow up their stunning win in Cincinnati with three points at home against the Wooden Spoon leading New England Revolution.

Match info

Teams: Nashville SC vs New England Revolution
Referees: Ismail Elfath (Ref), Jeffrey Swartzel (AR1), Noah Kenyawani (AR2), Rosendo Mendoza (Fourth), Sorin Stoica (VAR), Ian McKay (AVAR)
Odds: NSH (-150), Draw (+285), NE (+370)
Date: Saturday, May 31, 2024
Time: 7:30 pm CT, Geodis Park, Nashville, Tennessee
TV: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV
TV Commentary: Tony Husband & Ross Smith (English), Alejandro Figueredo & Eduardo Biscayart (Spanish)
Radio: 104.5 The Zone
Radio Commentary: Lucas Panzica & Eddie Carvacho
Forecast: 70°/62°. 68º at kickoff. Mostly cloudy. 65% chance of rain. 77% humidity. 7-16 mph wind.

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Matches: 6
Nashville SC wins: 2
Draws: 3
New England Revolution wins: 1

New England Revolution

15th (East) | 7 points | 2W-1D-10L | -17 GD |
Last match: 1-0 loss at NYCFC
Power Rankings29th
Goal leaders: Carles Gil (4), Giacomo Vrioni & Tómas Chancalay (2)
Assist leaders: Lucho Acosta (10), Pavel Bucha (4)

Availability Report

OUT: Brandon Bye (knee), Tómas Chancalay (knee), Nacho Gil (knee), Tommy McNamara (hamstring), Peyton Miller (foot)
SUSPENDED: Henry Kessler (yellow card accumulation)

It’s hard to accurately encapsulate just how bad this team is. They’ve scored nine goals… NINE!!! in their 13 matches so far this season. They have two wins. They’re coming into Geodis Park with a whopping -17 goal differential.

The Revs are on track for one of the all-time worst single-season performances in MLS history, trending towards just 18 points over the 34 game season.

Caleb Porter hasn’t changed much tactically in his first year, he’s just done everything much worse than his predecessor. This was a Supporters’ Shield contender when they split with Bruce Arena after an off-field controversy.

Carles Gil remains one of the best No. 10s in MLS, but he’s had little to no help elsewhere. Giacomo Vrioni has been incredibly unconvincing as a DP striker, and Tómas Chancalay, a winger filling in up front, is out injured. Dylan Borrero has brought a spark into this side after returning from a lengthy injury, and once he gets fully fit could be a real difference maker. The most exciting player in the side is 19-year-old U.S. youth international Esmir Bajraktarević. The homegrown winger is electric on the ball, always good for a wow moment when he can isolate a defender in a 1-v-1 scenario.

Defensively, this team is… shocking. Former Boy In Gold Dave Romney has been banished to the bench for *reasons*, while Xavier Arreaga and Henry Kessler have leaked the most goals in MLS. It’s genuinely hard to provide much real analysis of this team aside from pointing out the obvious.

Sounds like a trap game, doesn’t it?

Nashville SC

9th (East) | 16 points | 4W-7D-4L | -1 GD |
Last match: 2-0 win at FC Cincinnati
Power Rankings21st
Goal leaders: Sam Surridge (5), Teal Bunbury & Hany Mukhtar (3)
Assist leaders: Hany Mukhtar (6), Jacob Shaffelburg & Dru Yearwood (3)

Availability Report

OUT: Lukas MacNaughton (ankle), Randall Leal (hip)
QUESTIONABLE: Shaq Moore (hip), Sean Davis (ankle), Walker Zimmerman (knee)

Nashville’s upset 2-0 win in Cincinnati changes the mood around the team significantly. With the Garys holding a seven-match winning streak heading into the evening, Nashville put in their most complete performance in months, reminding fans (and maybe themselves) of what this team still can be.

Interim head coach Rumba Munthali rotated in the Queen City, with Aníbal Godoy and Tyler Boyd brought in off the bench and Sam Surridge left an unused substitute. In fact, Nashville’s attack looked more cohesive with Teal Bunbury as the No. 9.

Surridge clearly has more quality, and Bunbury’s struggled to combine and maintain possession. Where he was more successful, though, was staying high and dragging defenders away from Mukhtar, sacrificing touches on the ball for the greater cohesion of the team. Surridge has done this well at times, but extended isolation is hard to deal with. He’s still far and away the first-choice option up front, but still needs to iron out his partnership with Mukhtar.

With Sean Davis questionable due to an ankle injury, midfield could see more rotation. Brian Anunga and Dru Yearwood were an effective pairing in Cincinnati, and could keep their places on form, but adding in Godoy’s quality in possession would be a boost in a match where Nashville need to break down New England’s defense.

Pre-match quotes

Pod picks

Ben Wright

Score: Nashville 3 – 0 New England
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, Sam Surridge, Dru Yearwood
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Prediction: Nashville put over half of their total shots on target.

Chris Ivey

Score: Nashville 2 – 0 New England
Prediction: Nashville have a hard time scoring the first and a 80th minute insurance goal as New England throws more bodies forward. Caleb Porter is fired after the match.

Christina Moore

Score: Nashville 2 – 0 New England
Scorers: Walker Zimmerman, Teal Bunbury
MOTM: Joe Willis
Prediction: Nashville announce 28,000 in attendance, but more than half the seats are empty.

Jeff Remlinger

Score: Nashville 2 – 0 New England
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, Walker Zimmerman
MOTM: Walker Zimmerman
Prediction: Nashville concede zero shots on goal, but scoring proves a bit tricky.

Ronan Briscoe

Score: Nashville 3 – 1 New England
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, Dru Yearwood, Forster Ajago
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Prediction: Nashville cruises and vibes continue to improve in the Rumba era.

Fan forecast

Author: Ben Wrightis the Director of Soccer Content and a Senior MLS Contributor for Broadway Sports covering Nashville SC and the US National Team. Previously Ben was the editor and a founder of Speedway Soccer, where he has covered Nashville SC and their time in USL before journeying to Major League Soccer since 2018. Raised in Louisville, KY Ben grew up playing before a knee injury ended his competitive career. When he is not talking soccer he is probably producing music, drinking coffee or hanging out with his wife and kids. Mastodon

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