FOXBOROUGH, MA – Nashville SC fell on the road to New England Revolution on Saturday night. Gustavo Bou’s 52nd minute goal proved too much for the Coyotes to overcoming, handing them their first loss of the 2023 season.
Amidst issues with sickness in the squad, head coach Gary Smith was able to name a typical starting 11, making just one change from the side that beat CF Montréal 2-0 last weekend.
With Walker Zimmerman overcoming a bout with the flu, Smith brought Shaq Moore into a more central role to provide some cover. Alex Muyl, who himself had just completed concussion protocol, came in for Fafà Picault as a right wingback.
On the pitch
Nashville were unsurprisingly resolute defensively in the first half, but even then Joe Willis was forced into action more than once, coming up big on a 28th minute sprawling save to deny Bou from range.
Nashville’s best look of the night fell to Walker Zimmerman. Newly named permanent captain, the U.S. international rattled the post with a thundering header, coming inches from giving the ‘Yotes the lead.
New England adjusted things at halftime and came out strong. A simple ball from DeJuan Jones broke three lines of pressure, finding Gustavo Bou in all kinds of space. The Argentine DP had work to do to round Maher, but found the net with an audatious near post strike, the first goal Nashville have allowed this season.
Nashville were more aggressive after the goal, switching to a back four and eventually bringing on new signing Jàn Greguš for his club debut. Against a defense that included former Nashville stalwart Dave Romney, it proved to be too little, too late for the ‘Yotes, however, losing their first match of 2023.
The big picture
It wasn’t a poor performance from Nashville, but their slow start to the second half proved costly. They were able to create a serviceable amount of chances of their own, but lacked the finishing touch to find the net. Against a Revolution side who have historically played them very close, they found themselves on the wrong side of things on Saturday.
They’ll return home next weekend, taking on rivals FC Cincinnati. The Lions clawed back from 3-1 down in Chicago, drawing the Fire 3-3 in absolutely frigid conditions at Soldier Field. Against an opponent with plenty of shared history, Nashville will look to get their third win in three matches at Geodis Park to continue what has been a strong start to the season.