Recap: Nashville’s home struggles continue against Toronto FC

Nashville SC lost 4-3 to Toronto FC on Saturday night, continuing their woes at Geodis Park.

The XI

With both Aníbal Godoy and Brian Anunga unavailable with injury, Gary Smith opted to play Dax McCarty, Sean Davis and Alex Muyl together in central midfield, with Hany Mukhtar underneath Teal Bunbury and CJ Sapong.

On the pitch

McCarty and Davis struggled early on, both picking up yellow cards early in the first half that limited their ability to defend as the match went on. Jonathan Osorio opened the scoring for Toronto after 20 minutes, hamering home a shot from just outside the box after skirting a tackle from McCarty.

A Hany Mukhtar penalty kick pulled Nashville level, but Osorio’s second goal of the night put the visitors ahead just three minutes later. But the ‘Yotes answered with a quick response of their own. Teal Bunbury scored in his fourth consecutive match, flicking on a header from a corner to put the hosts level heading into the half.

Toronto pulled away in the second half. A Federico Bernadeschi penalty kick put them ahead shortly after the break, while Lorenzo Insigne’s first goal in MLS sealed the win in style.

Walker Zimmerman pulled back a goal late for the hosts, but it was too little, too late. Toronto’s four goals proved to be insurmountable for a Nashville side that hadn’t scored more than one goal since June 3, and the Reds left Geodis Park with a vital three points.

The big picture

Another day, another poor performance at Geodis Park. While the Nashville attack had a strong showing, their characteristic defensive lapses reared their ugly head once again. The midfield and defensive lines were disjointed and allowed Toronto’s playmakers too much time and space on the ball.

Nashville have now one just three of 11 matches at Geodis Park. They’ve taken just 14 of 33 potential points at home, and have the third-worst home record in the league. The lack of depth in the squad was evidenced with the two goalkeepers named to the bench, made especially painful given that the summer transfer window closed just two days ago.

Teams in the West dropped points, meaning Nashville end the night in playoff position, despite the loss. But they’re just a point ahead of the playoff line, and all but one team behind them have at least one game in hand on the Yotes. While making the postseason in 2022 won’t be this team’s most impressive feat, it’s not a sure thing either.

Highlights

Press conference

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.

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