Stats that defined Nashville SC’s 2-2 draw with Columbus Crew

Nashville SC blew a lead for the third straight match at Geodis Park on Saturday night, giving up a 79th minute equalizer to draw 2-2 with the Columbus Crew. Here are my main takeaways from the draw.

First half versus second half

Nashville’s struggles were defined by their inability to hold onto and advance the ball in the second half. There has been a lot of discussion regarding NSC’s defense and whether or not they’ve regressed. The easiest way to defend is to keep the ball from the opponent. When your defense is under constant pressure for 45 minutes, conceding is usually inevitable.

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I think the midfield we saw on Saturday is the first choice group. The issue is that there isn’t anyone on the bench when they get tired. Anunga is a significant drop-off in passing ability. There isn’t enough depth or quality in this midfield.

Pass map

This is shockingly bad. If you told me this team scored two goals and tied, I’d call you a liar.

Dru Yearwood is labeled here as “CM”. He has no connections and played 89 minutes! He wasn’t a factor in this game, and the other midfielders weren’t much better.

This looks very similar to the Charlotte pass map; work it around the outside and cross it in. It worked relatively well in each of those games, but it isn’t sustainable.

Side note: if you’re unfamiliar with pass maps, check out @McLachBot on Twitter and their interactive app. That’s where I pull them from, and you can learn a lot about how they should look and the different styles.

Gold Star Of The Match: Jacob Shaffelburg

  • 13/19 Passing
  • 2 Assists
  • 2/3 Ground Duels Won

Shaffelburg moved back to an left wingback role amidst Nashville’s injury crisis. While he could have been better in some areas, you can’t argue with his production.

Last year, he was a 0 or 10 player; he either put in an electric performance or was completely invisible. This season, he’s raised his floor while still keeping that ceiling, and he’s been one of the few consistently bright spots for Nashville SC in 2024.

Author: Jeff RemlingerJeff Remlinger, a data nerd from Chicago, IL, fell in love with MLS by watching the Chicago Fire. Some would say he threw his Fire jersey in the trash a little too quickly when Nashville joined MLS. Jeff has a passion for the statistical side of sports, and when he’s not writing about soccer, he can be found watching his beloved Arsenal or Iowa State Cyclones. Jeff can be found @MusicCitySCStat on X, where he shares his statistical analysis of Nashville SC.

Comments

  1. Yearwood made a critical, incisive pass to Shaffleburg for the hockey assist on the first goal and put in too much work off the ball to be classified as a non-factor in this match.

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