Nashville again blow a lead, drop points at home to San Jose

NASHVILLE, TN – Nashville SC did it once again; take a lead at Geodis Park, concede a sloppy goal, and drop points. It’s the fourth-consecutive match in which they’ve taken the lead and failed to get a win.

The XI

Among the few positives on the night were the return of Walker Zimmerman and Tyler Boyd to the matchday squad, both coming into the match off the bench in the second half.

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Among the negatives? Another injury to Randall Leal. After playing 12 minutes in last weekend’s 3-1 loss in Miami, Leal was again injured in training. Gary Smith confirmed after the match that it will keep him sidelined for a significant period of time.

On the pitch

Nashville started decently well, without the ball but dangerous on the break. After a handful of half chances, Hany Mukhtar scored his second goal of the league campaign, smacking an absolute laser from outside the box into the side netting.

Again, though, Nashville failed to extend their lead. After halftime, lack of pressure in midfield and a horribly-timed offside trap allowed Jack Skahan to waltz past the defense, and made no mistake with the finish against a helpless Joe Willis.

Nashville had chances to find the winner, most notably a close-range header from Sam Surridge that was saved too easily, but once again they were generally devoid of ideas and couldn’t grab a desperately-needed goal.

The big picture

There’s more to analyze here than will fit in this section. Suffice it to say that this is the lowest point of Nashville’s time in MLS. At home against arguably the worst team in MLS on a cross-country road trip, Nashville were on the back foot for much of the game, plagued by the same mistakes they’ve made all year, and were punished.

Gary Smith was visibly frustrated in his post-match presser, harkening back to his highlights and accomplishments with Nashville. He’s clearly feeling the pressure, and should be. Nashville have been on a stark downward trend since the summer, and it’s not getting any better.

They’re quickly running out of time to salvage their season. Gary Smith is running out of time to prove he’s capable of doing it.

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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