Recap: LA Galaxy 1 – 0 Nashville SC

Nashville SC’s eight match road trip is over, with the Coyotes falling 1-0 to the LA Galaxy on Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park. A late Dejan Joveljić goal sealed the victory for the Galaxy, who move into third place in the Western Conference table.

The XI

Head coach Gary Smith stuck with the same lineup that drew 2-2 in San Jose last weekend.

Smith made just one change on the bench, bringing in Handwalla Bwana in place of Dax McCarty. The captain stayed home in Nashville, with he and his wife announcing the birth of their second son shortly before kickoff.

On the pitch

The first half was another open match from Nashville. While neither side created much of note, Los Angeles played with a very high defensive line, allowing plenty of space in behind. While Nashville looked to get behind their defense, they often lacked the pace up front, resulting in a number of promising counter attacks sputtering out.

The Galaxy came out of the break on the front foot, forcing Nashville back into a defensive shell. Although the visitors looked tired, Smith waited until the 77th minute to make his first change of the match. Joveljić found the breakthrough in the 86th minute, cleaning striking through the ball to find the side netting and the lead.

Aké Loba was thrown on in the 87th minute, but it was too little, too late for the Coyotes.

The big picture

The loss was disappointing after more proactive performances from Nashville in recent weeks. Hany Mukhtar was the only consistent threat, but the lack of options around him hindered the attack. CJ Sapong had moments in possession, but his lack of pace limited what Nashville could do on the break, and the travel clearly caught up with the team early in the second half.

However, it’s hard to overstate how impressive this road stretch has been. With 11 points from their first eight matches, Nashville head home to open GEODIS Park on Sunday, with 17 home matches and only nine road trips left to play. While it hasn’t always been pretty, their 1.38 points per game on the road have laid a strong foundation. They need to make the most of it.

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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