Washington, Moloto Face Former Team on Saturday

taylor washingont vs chattanooga fc

Taylor Washington pushes the ball up field for Nashville SC against Chattanooga FC. / Courtesy of Nashville SC

When Nashville SC plays the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday, Taylor Washington and Lebo Moloto will face one of their former clubs.

Washington was a reliable player for the Hounds last season making 29 appearances in second season in the USL.

“He’s a tenacious, scrappy defender on the outside, and he has pretty solid speed to hang with the top wing players in USL,” said Matt Grubba, who covers the Riverhounds for dkpittsburghsports.com.

Washington is currently competing with Ryan James and Kosuke Kimura for starting minutes at outside back in Nashville. The 24-year-old replaced Ryan James against Louisville City in the 85th minute and brought an energy to the late stages of the 2-0 loss.

John Krysinsky, co-owner and managing editor of pittsburghsoccernow.com, believes Washington needs to improve on his positioning and find ways to generate more scoring opportunities. Washington tallied just one assist and 17 successful crosses for the Hounds in 2017. Krysinsky attributes the lack of offense from Washington to the Hounds’ former coach Dave Brandt’s playing style.

“While [Washington] would get forward at times to create chances with balls into the box, he really wasn’t someone who was productive.” said Krysinsky. “I am not sure if part of that was because of the system under Brandt as the Hounds’ outside backs were mostly non-existent in directly creating chances last season.”

Lebo Moloto makes a pass for Nashville SC against Chattanooga FC.

Lebo Moloto makes a pass for Nashville SC against Chattanooga FC. / Courtesy of Nashville SC

Moloto played in Pittsburgh from 2015-2016 before signing with the Swope Park Rangers in 2017. The attacking midfielder had a strong 2015 season, scoring six goals and tallying seven assists, but only scored one goal in 2016. Moloto made 52 appearances for the Hounds during his time in the Steel City.

“I’m curious to see how Lebo Moloto fares against his old team,” said Grubba. “The Hounds have had a lot of turnover, but Kevin Kerr, Romeo Parkes and a couple others with the team have played with him and know him well. He had stretches where he was the Hounds’ best player, and he had longer runs where he’d disappear.”

Moloto will likely start against the Hounds and Washington will definitely be a member of Nashville’s 18-man gameday roster. Nashville’s supporters are hoping Moloto and Washington can make an impact against their former club and get the Boys and Gold their first USL points on Saturday.

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