Recap: San Jose Earthquakes 2 – 2 Nashville SC

Hany Mukhtar’s first goals of the season couldn’t overcome poor set piece from defending, with Nashville SC twice allowing San Jose Earthquakes to equalize in a 2-2 draw.

The XI

Head coach Gary Smith brought Anibal Godoy and Dan Lovitz back into the starting lineup after both started the last two matches on the bench.

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Captain Dax McCarty also made his return to the matchday squad after serving a two-match suspension for his red card against Real Salt Lake.

On the pitch

Hany Mukhtar returned to his scoring ways. The 2021 MLS MVP runner up got his first goals of the 2022 season, the first a solo run and shot and the second an unmarked volley at the far post. The German creator nearly made it a hat-trick, but his shot on an empty net was blocked at the last second by a sliding defender.

Unfortunately, Nashville’s set piece issues reared their ugly head once again. Twice the Coyotes lead the match, and twice San Jose equalized from a dead ball. Striker Jeremy Ebobisse scored his first with an impressive curling free kick, and salvaged a point from close range after a re-directed corner kick.

The big picture

Three points in San Jose would have taken an already successful road trip to the next level for Nashville, pushing them up to third in the table before playing a single match at home. With the draw, the ‘Yotes sit in eighth place heading in Saturday’s match against LA Galaxy.

Five of eight goals Nashville have conceded have come from dead ball situations. Their open play defense has been elite. Their set piece defense continues to be a mystifying issue that has cost them points once again.

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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