Recap: Nashville SC draw Atlanta United in first match under Rumba Munthali

NASHVILLE, TN – Nashville SC fittingly started off the post-Gary Smith era with a draw, sharing a point with Atlanta United at Geodis Park on a Cicada-filled Saturday afternoon.

The XI

Munthali’s first change was to switch back to a back four, bringing back the Walker Zimmerman and Jack Maher center back pairing that had been the go-to for nearly two seasons. Jacob Shaffelburg and Tyler Boyd started on the wings, giving Nashville a less reactionary, more front-footed approach.

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On the pitch

Nashville started the match more brightly than their last two matches. They kept their lines high and forced Atlanta back for much of the opening 45 minutes, and although they couldn’t generate too many high-value chances, they at least got the ball into more progressive areas.

Brad Guzan ended up giving the Coyotes their breakthrough, sliding to stop Hany Mukhtar in the box but inadvertently bringing him down. Referee Drew Fischer pointed to the spot, and Mukhtar emphatically converted, announcing that he and his wife Ashley are expecting a baby with the ensuing celebration.

Nashville started the second half brightly, taking nine shots compared to just three in the first half. However, once Zimmerman and Boyd came off (both are returning from injury and aren’t fully 90-minute fit), the momentum begun to shift and Atlanta’s influence grew. After a decent spell of possession, Bartosz Slisz punished the home side with a side-footed finish to the bottom corner.

Nashville had a few missed connections in the second period, but the half chances they generated weren’t enough to add a second, and Atlanta ended up leaving Geodis Park with a badly-needed result.

Post-match quotes

Stats

Possession: NSH 58% – 52% ATL
Passes completed: NSH 315 – 352 ATL
Shots: NSH 12 – 10 ATL
Shots on goal: NSH 5 – 1 ATL
Penalty kicks: NSH 1 – 0 ATL
Expected goals: NSH 1.52 – 0.71 ATL
Goals: NSH 1 – 1 ATL
Fouls: NSH 9 – 14 ATL
Yellow cards: NSH 2 – 2 ATL
Red cards: NSH 0 – 0 ATL

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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