It wasn’t pretty, but Nashville SC traveled to Philadelphia and held the Union to a scoreless draw. While maybe not a return to form, it was the type of gritty performance they’ll need to call on in the playoffs.
Gary Smith opted to switch to a back three against Philadelphia, citing the issues the shape had caused them in the past. With Dan Lovitz suspended, Taylor Washington started on the left, while Josh Bauer got the nod in place of the injured Lukas MacNaughton.
On the pitch
As they’ve done in all their recent games, Nashville started brightly. They created a handful of chances, including a snapshot from Teal Bunbury that was eventually called back for offside.
As the match went on, though, their attacking impetus slowed and the Union were able to find more consistent looks in the final third. Joe Willis was called on five times, keeping the clean sheet and continuing to lead the best defense in MLS.
Nashville had a couple half chances on the break as the game ended, but couldn’t turn them into anything more.
The big picture
It certainly wasn’t a match that Nashville fans were thrilled by; the Coyotes managed just four total shots and only one on target. However, it was a cohesive defensive performance on the road against an MLS Cup contender.
The past several weeks have been as bad as ever for Nashville. But even at their worst, they’ve been tight in games against several top sides in MLS. That gives at least a little bit of confidence heading into the postseason.