NASHVILLE, TN – It was a comfortable night for Nashville SC in the US Open Cup Round of 32. The Boys In Gold knocked off FC Dallas 2-0 in front of 5,196 fans at Geodis Park on Wednesday night.
Gary Smith made 10 changes to the side that beat Chicago Fire at the weekend, with Lukas MacNaughton the lone holdover from the 3-0 win.
On the pitch
If the first half was purely academic (the two sides combined for just two total shots), the second was anything but. Three halftime changes from Smith prompted a spark for the home side, with Alex Muyl and Luke Haakenson adding both energy and quality in the final third.
Fafà Picault opened the scoring in style, picking up a loose pass from Elliot Panicco just across the midfield line and driving through the Dallas defense before cutting back and placing a curling shot into the bottom corner.
Seconds after Ethan Zubak saw a goal waved off for offsides, Alex Muyl doubles the lead with a spectacular goal. The midfielder thought about crossing before cutting back onto his left foot, curling a shot through traffic past Jimmy Maurer to seal the win for Nashville.
The big picture
Nashville were able to rotate heavily, keeping the squad fresh for a weekend trip to Washington, DC, while still putting in a professional performance against nearly a full-strength Dallas side. Josh Bauer put in a strong showing against MLS opposition, while Laurence Wyke stood out from right back.
Nashville also welcomed back Randall Leal after 11 matches injured. While he didn’t make a significant impact in his 45 minute shift, getting him back to full fitness will be vital for the Coyotes down the stretch.
Notably, the match was the 400th game of Gary Smith’s managerial career, and his 190th in Music City.
Nashville will find out their Round of 16 opponent tomorrow via US Open Cup’s draw, which will be live-streamed. The draw is scheduled for Thursday, May 11 at 1 pm CT.