Recap: Nashville SC pedestrian in scoreless draw with Seattle

NASHVILLE, TN – Nashville SC had a chance to gain ground on the Eastern Conference, but couldn’t take advantage in a disjointed draw against the Seattle Sounders in which they sorely lacked any quality in the final third.

The XI

Gary Smith was able to name one of the strongest lineups of the season, with Lukas MacNaughton the only absence from his regular group.

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On the pitch

Nashville struggled, to put it lightly. The Coyotes were sloppy in their passing, often putting simple passes too far in front or behind of their teammates, killing momentum. Touches were similarly sloppy, either losing possession or forcing the ball backward. The ball was moved too slowly throughout the night, and Nashville consistently ignored options to play a quicker, more ambitious ball, instead preferring to cycle the ball around the backline in painfully predictable patterns.

Hany Mukhtar had one moment of brilliance in the second half, taking on five Seattle defenders on the dribble, but it only resulted in a corner. Jacob Shaffelburg had the best opportunity of the night just before the half, tearing open Seattle on a counter. But in a sequence that was emblematic of the evening, he opted to take an extra touch and try to cut across the defender instead of shooting first time on his left foot, and the chance was squandered.

The big picture

It was a bad draw for Nashville. They managed just five shots, the second-lowest total for any home game under Gary Smith, going back 112 games to the 2018 USL Championship season. The only match they managed less was a 2-0 win over FC Dallas in the US Open Cup earlier this year, in which they had just four total shots.

With Nashville badly needing to find form heading into the playoffs, it wasn’t encouraging.

On the bright side, the Coyotes officially clinched their spot in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs after DC United’s 2-2 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps. They’ll be back in action against 2nd-place Orlando City SC on Wednesday.

Post-match presser

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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