Nashville earned its first home victory with a 2-0 win against the Charlotte Independence. Here’s how the Speedway Soccer Pod team rated each member of the Boys in Gold.
Player ratings are 0-10 (10 being the best)
Pickens – 8.5: Only called on to make two saves, but one was an absolutely world class save to deny a brilliant free kick from Charlotte’s Jorge Herrera. Got the assist for Ropapa’s goal, which is incredibly impressive for a keeper.
Kimura – 8.0: His best game yet for Nashville. A bit surprised to see him start over the impressive Ryan James, but he got up and back diligently, defended tenaciously, and attacked effectively. Much better from the veteran.
Bourgeois – 8.0: Solidifying his place in this team. Very effective in the air, safe with the ball, and brings a great energy to the team. Will be frustrated that he didn’t do better with a headed shot from close range to open his Nashville goal scoring account.
Doyle – 8.0: Reads the game very well, and as a result finds himself in crucial positions. His passing is always consistent, and he’s a strong physical presence in the backline.
Davis – 8.0: Played in his more familiar left back role, and seemed to enjoy it. When he gets forward, he pushes into midfield more than into the wings, and brings a different dynamic to the attack. His chipped passes to the wings are often slightly overhit, but he uses the ball efficiently for the most part. He has mastered the art of a spectacular sliding tackle.
Winn – 8.5: Nashville man of the match. The most effective attacker over the last two games, and didn’t take long to take control of the game. Took his goal with composure, worked tirelessly in defense as well as attack, and fearlessly drove at the defense. It will be hard to leave him out of this team going forward.
Reed – 7.5: Another solid showing from the captain. Covers lots of ground, strong in the tackle, and manages the ball well. Had a few opportunities to shoot but didn’t pull the trigger.
Akinyode – 8.5: A powerful presence in midfield. Dominates the game physically, and seems impossible to knock off the ball at times. Keeps things moving quickly and is very efficient with the ball. Sees space around him before his opponents.
Washington – 7.5: Always a hard worker. Didn’t get the ball quite as much as he should have, but consistently is a threat to get behind the defense with his pace. Came off after 67 minutes with what hopefully was just a cramp.
Moloto – 8.0: When he’s on his game, it’s fun to watch. He does these subtle body feints before he receives the ball that completely throw defenders off and creates space for him. Picked up the ball in dangerous spots and was very creative on the ball. Looks very comfortable in a pseudo “false 9” role.
Cox – 7.5: Only managed one shot off target, but held the ball well and stretched the defense. His pace gives the team a different dynamic from some of the other forward options.
LaGrassa – 7.0: Replaced Washington in the 67th minutes and stayed in the left midfield. As expected, he drifted inside much more than Washington, but was a calming presence as Nashville sought to kill the game off. Managed several clearances to end dangerous Charlotte attacks. Speaks to the depth of this team that Smith is able to call him off the bench.
Mensah – 8.0: Replaced Cox in the 78th minute, and his energy and pace immediately pinned Charlotte’s center backs much deeper than they would have liked. He’s still raw, and his runs aren’t always as precise as they should be, but he gets into dangerous areas and is a natural finisher. Took his goal very well and sealed three points for Nashville.
Edgar – 7.0: Replaced Moloto in the 87th minute. Didn’t see a ton of action in the final minutes of the game, but his cameo speaks to how highly rated he is by the technical staff after signing with the team three days prior. He should push for a starting spot in the coming weeks.