Recap: Nashville get first MLS win of 2024 over Charlotte

NASHVILLE, TN – Nashville SC got their first win of the 2024 Major League Soccer season on Saturday night, finally hanging onto a two-goal lead to beat Charlotte FC 2-1 at Geodis Park.

The XI

Gary Smith brought Jack Maher back into the lineup after his post-match comments following Wednesday’s loss to Inter Miami, while Hany Mukhtar, Sam Surridge and Tyler Boyd started a match together for the first time in MLS this season.

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On the pitch

After a tight start to the match, with Nashville struggling to break down Charlotte’s compact block, the hosts found the breakthrough in the 32nd minute through Sam Surridge. The DP no. 9 opened his MLS account with an exceedingly well-taken header, redirecting a perfect cross from Taylor Washington across goal and into the corner.

Eight minutes later, Alex Muyl doubled the lead. The winger out-leaped center back Adilson Malanda before sending an authoritative header into the back of the net.

Charlotte pulled a goal back just before halftime, taking advantage of a handful of poorly-cleared balls from Nashville before Brecht Dejaegere snapped his shot home from close range. As the second half wore on, the visitors continued to throw numbers forward in search of an equalizer, while Nashville continued to hold strong and hit on the break. A fourth goal wasn’t to be, with a Nashville win the final outcome.

The big picture

It wasn’t pretty, but after blowing two-goal leads in two consecutive home games, it was certainly a relief for Nashville to see one out. With their Concacaf Champions Cup run in the rearview mirror, they’ve navigated the toughest stretch of their season without a loss, and are now up to sixth place in the Eastern Conference with six points from four matches.

There’s still plenty of work to be done and a ways to go before this side gets into gear, but Saturday’s win was a significant milestone and a step in a positive direction.

Stats

Possession: NSH 53% – 47% CLT
Passes completed: NSH 439% – 396% CLT
Shots: NSH 8 – 9 CLT
Shots on goal: NSH 2 – 4 CLT
Expected goals: NSH 1.09 – 0.98 CLT
Goals: NSH 2 – 1 CLT
Fouls: NSH 4 – 5 CLT
Yellow cards: NSH 0 – 0 CLT
Red cards: NSH 0 – 0 CLT

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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