Nashville SC don't score multiple goals often. Their 3-1 win over Houston Dynamo was just the second time they've scored more than once all season. While the result was an anomaly in terms of the scoreline, their fast start was a continuation of their last several matches.
Head coach Gary Smith heavily rotated his side, and without center-back Walker Zimmerman, he switched to a back three/back five to cope with his absence. Dave Romney (the only field player to play every minute thus far) slid out to the left of the back three, with Jalil Anibaba and Jack Maher rounding out the center of defense.
In the first half, the wingbacks dropped deep out of possession to form a back five, with the front three staying high to pressure Houston's defenders on the ball.
In attack, though, the wingbacks got high up the field to form a 3-4-3. Flanked by Hany Mukhtar and Alex Muyl, Abu Danladi would drop a little deeper to pull in defenders and open up space around him.
Throughout the match, but especially early, Nashville intentionally targeted Houston's defenders in possession.
Whenever a full-back had the ball near the midfield line, Eric Miller or Taylor Washington would sprint out of their defensive line . . .
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