Recap: Nashville SC bow out of US Open Cup against Miami

Nashville SC failed to advance past the US Open Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday night, losing 2-1 to Inter Miami CF in Ft. Lauderdale.

The XI

Against a Miami side fielding a full-strength lineup, Gary Smith made wholesale changes. Jack Maher was the lone player left in the lineup after a 2-1 win in Charlotte on the weekend, with Randall Leal coming back into the side.

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On the pitch

Nashville held their own, despite the rotation. They were able to create a couple decent chances on the break, and overall limited Miami to mostly speculative efforts in the first half.

12 minutes into the second half, Miami found the breakthrough via Franco Negri, who was able to get behind the backline before calmly finishing over Elliot Panicco.

Nashville answered quickly through Alex Muyl. The substitute got on the end of a cross from Laurence Wyke just 50 seconds after entering the match, heading home from close range to draw level.

Just as Nashville seemed to have the momentum, a weather delay paused the game for over half an hour. Minutes after restarting, Miami took the lead through substitute Nicolás Stefanelli. The forward got on the wrong side of Josh Bauer, beating the defender to the goal before burying his shot at the near post.

Nashville pushed for an equalizer, but ultimately fell short.

The big picture

It’s a disappointing exit for Nashville, who have historically prioritized the Open Cup heavily. Just yesterday, Hany Mukhtar called it “the easiest way to win a trophy” in an interview with CBS’s The Goalazo Show.

Heavy rotation got the job done against FC Dallas’s first team in the Round of 32, but against another first-choice MLS side, making 10 changes certainly impacted Nashville’s quality. With the congested calendar, Smith opted to prioritize league play over the Open Cup. It may not be the wrong choice, but it certainly puts more pressure on Nashville to maintain their league form and push for a top four spot with the Open Cup no longer in play.

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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