Nashville SC earns scoreless draw against Chicago Fire


BRADENTON, Fla. — Another first is in the books for Nashville Soccer Club: The team has earned its first clean sheet.

Nashville SC drew 0-0 with Chicago Fire Wednesday at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, denying a pair of dangerous chances by the MLS team and squandering a few of their own.

Gary Smith’s side controlled possession for much of the match, especially early in both halves. Forward Robin Shroot led the way for Nashville, tallying a pair of shots [one on target] and feeding a smooth pass to Michael Cox, who headed the ball softly into the keeper’s arms.

The second half featured more dangerous opportunities for both teams. Backup keeper C.J. Cochran denied the Fire twice late in the contest, including a desperate lunge to his left to keep a Diego Campos shot out of the net in the 78th minute.

Meanwhile, Nashville was unable to capitalize on a pair of mouthwatering chances. In the 71st minute Ropapa Mensah was denied on a rebound effort following a blocked Tucker Hume shot. Then Alan Winn missed an empty net in the 75th, clanging a shot 10 feet high with the Fire keeper out of position.

The Boys in Gold made only one change from the starting XI they employed against Atlanta United, inserting Liam Doyle at center back in place of Bradley Bourgeois. The Fire, who finished 3rd in the Eastern Conference last season, sat some of their most dangerous starters to begin the match, including Bastian Schweinsteiger and Nemanja Nikolic.

Then the teams switched approaches. Nikolic and Schweinsteiger entered the match after halftime, while Nashville had fully rotated its roster by the 60th minute. But Nashville’s reserves were up to the task of holding off the MLS starters, keeping them off the scoreboard and controlling possession for much of the second half until a late-but-futile push by Chicago.

We will have full match analysis tomorrow, including our Man of the Match and key observations from the contest.

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