COLUMBUS, OH – Nashville SC lost for the second time this week, falling 2-0 on the road against Columbus Crew to cap off arguably the toughest week of the year.
With injuries and international duty limiting his options, Gary Smith changed things around significantly in his 200th match in charge of Nashville SC.
Smith shifted to a back three, with Brian Anunga and Luke Haakenson getting their first and second starts of season, respectively.
On the pitch
Nashville never really threatened Columbus, and looked particularly vulneralbe. Lucas Zelaráyan took advantage from a lax moment from Anunga to win possession back in midfield, and then drove through the heart of Nashville’s defense to play Christian Ramirez through on goal. The veteran made no mistake with the finish.
Nashville couldn’t generate anything of note, with the lack of a focal point in attack hampering their effectiveness and showing their need for at least one forward in the summer transfer window. As Nashville pushed for an equalizer, the Crew got a second via an unfortunate deflection from Jack Maher, ending a disappointing night on the road.
The big picture
This week was always going to be difficult, with trips to Montreal and Columbus exacerbated by injuries and the Gold Cup. But Nashville were in excellent form and should have been able to take at least a point from one of their road games.
As it is, they’ve lost back-to-back matches for the first time since last August, and dropped down into third place in the Eastern Conference table. They’re back at home on Saturday against DC United, who all of a sudden look like a competent and dangerous team. Getting three points against the Black And Red is crucial, with matches against Chicago, Philadelphia and Cincinnati capping off their league games before the Leagues Cup break.