Recap: Ethan Zubak sends Nashville SC to U.S. Open Cup Round of 32

NASHVILLE, TN – Ethan Zubak continued his tradition of playing the hero for Nashville SC in the U.S. Open Cup. The 25-year-old striker’s 71st minute goal proved to be the winner against San Antonio FC, propelling the ‘Yotes to the Round of 32.

The XI

Gary Smith rotated heavily, making nine changes to the side that drew LAFC this weekend. Only Alex Muyl and Jack Maher kept their places in the XI, and both were taken off at the half.

Playing in a 3-4-3 shape, Laurence Wyke made his competitive Nashville SC debuts. Ján Greguš took the captain’s armband in his first start in gold.

On the pitch

Reigning USL Championship winners San Antonio held their own throughout the match, and had a case to be the better side in the first half. The visitors put pressure on Elliot Panicco’s goal, forcing the understudy to make a handful of strong saves, including a double save from close range.

His best work came after the half. Zico Bailey hit a swerving shot from range, forcing Panicco to react quickly and adjust mid-flight to palm the ball wide.

Nashville’s halftime substitutions proved to be the difference makers. Fafà Picault brought a burst of energy to the frontline. In the 71st pressed hard to win possession back in the final third, reclaiming the ball just outside the box and squaring it for a wide open Ethan Zubak.

It was a simple finish for Zubak, who capped off an energetic performance with the game winning goal.

Notably, Joey DeZart made his Nashville SC debut. His substitute appearance marks the first time a player for Huntsville City FC, Nashville’s reserve team, has earned minutes with the first time. It’s an encouraging sign for Nashville’s newly established development pipeline, and one they may have to lean on more in the Open Cup and upcoming League’s Cup.

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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