The Chalkboard: Nashville SC 4 – 2 Atlanta United

Nashville SC's attacking explosion against Atlanta United wasn't predicted by anyone going into the match. At the same time, though, it didn't come out of nowhere. Each of Nashville's four goals came from patterns of play that we've seen repeated throughout the season. Let's take a look at the goals and see how Nashville has been building towards this all season.

Dominique Badji - 1'

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Dom Badji's opening goal was a designed set piece play. Dax McCarty makes a near post run and flicks the ball on towards the back post, where Badji is waiting.

Notice McCarty starting his run before the corner is even taken. That's intentional. He makes Larentowicz think he's moving towards the penalty spot, before getting in his blind spot and getting to the near post.Badji is watching McCarty the whole time, and again begins his run to the back post before the ball is played.

"[That was] a set-piece that we’ve worked on numerous times work in the first, I don’t know what it was, minute or two minutes of the game, we exploit that near post,” McCarty said in the postmatch press conference. “Actually, Atlanta switched it up on us. They usually play a man-to-man, but they went to a zone. But Hany stuck to his guns. He played a great ball in to the near post. My job was just to flick . . .

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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