Recap: Nashville bounce back with Mukhtar brace against DC United

Nashville bounced back quickly from their first home loss since November 2020 in fine form. The Coyotes took the lead early at Audi Field and never looked back, beating DC United 3-1.

The XI

Gary Smith brought defender Walker Zimmerman back into the lineup after the defender missed last weekend’s match with a knock picked up on international duty.

Randall Leal got his first start since early May. An ankle injury he suffered against Real Salt Laked forced him to miss seven matches before coming off the bench last week.

On the pitch

Just six minutes into the match, Dan Lovitz opened the scoring. The defender scored his third goal in gold (and first with his preferred left foot) with a driven shot to the near post after a failed clearance.

Just before the break, Hany Mukhtar doubled the league. A well-drilled high press from Nashville forced a turnover deep in DC’s half. Leal and Dax McCarty exchanged quick passes before the captain selflessly opted to pick out a wide open Mukhtar instead of taking the shot on himself. Mukhtar made no mistake with the finish, scoring Nashville’s 100th regular season goal in MLS.

Nashville iced the match just five minutes into the second half. Mukhtar’s shot took a major deflection en route to the top corner, kissing the crossbar on its way into the net. DC pulled one back, with Taxi Fountas calmly finishing after a quick break.

The big picture

Nashville continue to find ways to bounce back from a loss. They’ve been beaten in consecutive matches just three times in Major League Soccer, never losing more than two in a row. Of their 17 regular season losses since joining the league, 12 have been followed by a win.

More importantly, the players closed out the performance with a touching gesture to Travis and Lori Poole, two dedicated Nashville fans going through a heartbreaking family tragedy.

Press conference

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.

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