Recap: Nashville SC beaten by LAFC in worst loss in club history

Nashville SC were played off the pitch by Los Angeles FC, dominated in every facet of game and losing 5-0. The loss is the first time Nashville have ever conceded five goals, and the worst loss in 232 matches as a professional club.

The XI

With Lukas MacNaughton picking up a groin issue in training on Thursday, Nashville’s center back depth suddenly wasn’t very deep. Brent Kallman stepped into the backline ahead of Josh Bauer, while Taylor Washington retained his position on the left ahead of Dan Lovitz.

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On the pitch

Nashville started poorly and kept it up for 90 minutes. LAFC opened the scoring in the ninth minute, when Joe Willis attempted to claim a corner kick and missed, leaving Taylor Washington to try and fail to clear at the back post. Timothy Tillman had a simple finish.

Washington compounded a poor night just nine minutes later, taking down Tillman in the box. Dénis Bouanga converted the penalty without issue. Sam Surridge put the ball in the back of the net to make it 2-1, but the goal was called off for a push-off from the striker.

Immediately after the halftime break, the Black & Gold killed the game off with an emphatic finish from Bouanga, pouncing on a cross ahead of a painfully slow defense to ice the victory.

Things continued to spiral for Nashville. Joe Willis came out of his box to close down a counter and handled the ball, receiving a straight red card which will keep him out for next week’s home match against Columbus Crew. Cristian Oliveira made it four for LAFC in the 74th minute, and Eduard Atuesta scored a diving header in second-half stoppage time to make it five, the worst loss ever for Nashville SC.

The big picture

It certainly feels like any momentum gained from the first MLS win of 2024 went out the window tonight. There’s always a tend to overreact after a loss like this, but there’s also a worrying downward trend since the Leagues Cup final.

In 21 matches in all competitions, Nashville have won just five. Two of those wins came against Moca FC, a team significantly below the MLS level. Hany Mukhtar has scored just three goals since the Leagues Cup final. His last MLS goal game on September 20, 2023, nearly 1,200 minutes ago.

Nashville are still in the mix, and they still have some solid pieces to build on. But things don’t appear to be improving.

Stats

Possession: LAFC 44% – 56% NSH
Passes completed: LAFC 334 – 437 NSH
Shots: LAFC 27 – 9 NSH
Shots on goal: LAFC 12 – 2 NSH
Expected goals: LAFC 4.09 – 0.53 NSH
Goals: LAFC 5 – 0 NSH
Fouls: LAFC 19 – 6 NSH
Yellow cards: LAFC 4 – 2 NSH
Red cards: LAFC 0 – 1 NSH

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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