Recap: Nashville continue strong form with 2-0 win over CF Montréal

NASHVILLE, TN – Nashville SC continued their strong start to the season, knocking off CF Montréal 2-0 at Geodis Park on Saturday night. The win keeps Nashville undefeated, taking seven points from their first three matches, and the ‘Yotes have yet to concede a goal.

The XI

With four players out injured, including Nick DePuy’s season-ending achilles surgery, head coach Gary Smith named a shortened roster, including two goalkeepers on the bench.

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Reigning MLS MVP Hany Mukhtar got his first start of the 2023 season after starting the previous two matches on the bench.

On the pitch

Against a overhauled Montréal side, Nashville didn’t dominate early. Head coach Hernan Losada’s pressing system afforded the club formerly known as the impact more possession than expected, and while they didn’t threaten Nashville’s goal consistently, they managed the game well during stretches.

As was the case in Nashville’s season opener, Hany Mukhtar and Jacob Shaffelburg combined to take the lead. A slick turn in midfield from Mukhtar opened up acres of space on the counter, but Shaffelburg’s thunderous finish off the underside of the bar was spectacular.

As the game wore on, Nashville struggled more and more to deal with Montréal’s back five. Smith eventually shifted personnel to match the system, but not before Teal Bunbury missed a gilt-edged chance, hitting the bar after a clean breakaway put him through on goal.

Late in the match, Taylor Washington capped off the result in style, darting past Zachary Brault-Guillard to thunder home his first career goal in MLS.

The big picture

Nashville couldn’t have asked to a better start to the season. They’ve taken seven points from their first three matches, winning both their games at home and keeping three clean sheets. They should be quite confident ahead of next weekend’s trip to New England Revolution.

It was a special night for Taylor Washington. The second player signed to Nashville SC’s USL roster in 2017 has been a stalwart for the club for six seasons. He leads the club in all-time appearances with 120, playing 49 matches in MLS. His goal to cap things off against Montréal was his first in MLS.

It was a well-deserved moment for a player who has been consistently reliable on the pitch, and has had an even bigger impact off the field in the Nashville community.

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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