Stats that defined Nashville SC’s 2-1 win over Charlotte FC

Nashville SC got their first MLS win of 2024 last night, beating Charlotte FC 2-1 at home with goals from Sam Surridge and Alex Muyl. Here’s what struck me from the match:

Duels won

Duels Win Games. I talk about it all the time. It’s one of the strongest indicators of success outside of expected goals.

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If you win the ball, you win the game. NSC dominated 63% of ground duels and 57% of aerial duels. They even won two out of four aerial duels in the opposing box to score their goals and 79% of their tackles. This is a testament to their skill and determination on the field.

Nashville’s passing map

After last night’s game, I have some lingering questions about the Coyotes’ midfield. If you look at the passing map, you’ll notice a significant gap between the defensive midfield circles and the attacking circles.

This gap makes it harder to complete passes that link up the midfield and attack, as shown by the thin blue lines connecting the midfield and attack. The thickness of the line represents the number of passes completed between the two areas.

To compensate for this deficiency, NSC focused on advancing the ball down the flanks and creating a lot of xG on crosses into the box. However, this approach may not be sustainable in the long run, and it doesn’t involve Hany Mukhtar and Tyler Boyd enight, their two best attackers, enough.

While it worked for this game, it can quickly turn into a cross-and-pray game plan on another day.

Gold Star of the Match: Alex Muyl

  • 17/22 Passing
  • 1/3 Shots on target
  • 0.54 xG
  • 1 Goal
  • 2/3 Successful Dribbles
  • 6/9 Ground Duels
  • 3/4 Aerial Duels

This was a tough one to pick. I liked Yearwood’s game and thought Mukhtar had a nice-but-quiet performance.

Alex Muyl, though, was a stat sheet stuffer against Charlotte. He won the ball, completed some dribbles, and got on the end of a cross to score a goal and seal the victory for Nashville. One of his best-ever showings in a gold shirt.

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.

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