How did Nashville SC’s players perform in yesterday’s draw with New York Red Bulls II? The Speedway Soccer player ratings tell the story. Who was your man of the match?
Manager Rating – 7.0: Coach Smith got his tactics right for the most part, and his halftime adjustments saw the central midfielders support the attach much more effectively than they did in the first. Nashville should have come away with three points, but coaching isn’t to blame for poor finishing.
Matt Pickens – 7.0: Solid as usual. Nothing he could have done to prevent New York’s goal. Otherwise handled everything that came at him and kept the back line organized.
Kosuke Kimura – 7.5: Safe in possession, not incredibly involved in the attack, but limited New York’s attacking opportunities on Nashville’s right flank.
Bradley Bourgeois – 7.5: Made eight clearances on the day. Tends to resort to long balls when under any kind of pressure, and his passing is a bit inconsistent, but he’s great at his primary job – defending.
David Edgar – 6.5: Tough to fault him for New York’s goal when he was left alone to mark two attackers, but would have liked to see him make a better effort. Otherwise he had a strong performance, and his ability to play out of the back is incredibly valuable. A little surprising to see him taken off in the 53rd minute.
Justin Davis – 6.5: Involved more in the attack than Kimura, but he wasn’t as safe with the ball as he usually is. Went on a walkabout and left Edgar stranded for New York’s goal.
Alan Winn – 7.0: Worked hard but wasn’t as involved in the attack as normal. Finds space really and doesn’t always get the ball when he’s open. Needs to continue to start. Replaced by LaGrassa in the 63rd minute.
Michael Reed – 8.0: One of his better games for the Boys In Gold, especially in the second half. After the break he pressed much further forward and moved the ball well right outside New York’s penalty area. He really keeps the ball moving in possession and is becoming more of an attacking threat. Always consistent from week to week.
Bolu Akinyode – 7.5: As usual, he completes a very high percentage of his passes (89.4%). Didn’t get involved in the attack much in the first half, but that changed in the second half. Came close to scoring from a header in stoppage time, but was denied a winner by a fantastic save.
Taylor Washington – 7.5: More involved in the attack than Alan Winn. Created three chances, the most of any Nashville player. His crossing was mostly strong. When one-on-one with the keeper, he opted to play in Moloto, who’s shot was cleared off the line. It’s hard to fault him for the decision, but it would have been nice to see him try to chip the ball towards a wide open far post. Made a good run to the far post but couldn’t connect after Cox flubbed his shot.
Lebo Moloto – 7.0: As always, very involved. As always, not very clinical. Was too often slow to get rid of the ball, and one of his turnovers led directly to New York’s goal. Was played through on an open goal twice. Once his shot was cleared off the line, once he took the ball past the keeper, but a heavy touch and lack of pace allowed the defense to recover the ball. In the 80th minute, he turned brilliantly to beat two defenders in the box, but inexplicably tried to shoot to the near post when the far post was gaping. Really needs to start producing an end product.
Ropapa Mensah – 8.5: By far his best performance for Nashville yet. Easily the most dangerous player on the pitch. In the first half, most of his chances came from pressuring defenders into turning the ball over. Took advantage of a turnover from the last defender, and finished calmly for in the 7th minute. Forced another turnover later in the first half, but his strong shot to the near post was saved. Almost scored on a header off of a free kick, but his effort was tipped around the post. Good to see him get consistent starts, and he looks to have found some consistent form. On his day, he is incredibly dangerous.
Liam Doyle – 7.0: Replaced David Edgar in the 53rd minute. His passing wasn’t as consistent as usual, but he did well to clear the ball after a New York shot bounced off several players.
Matt LaGrassa – 8.0: Replaced Alan Winn in the 63rd minute. He changed the game with his passing, creating two chances in the 30 minutes he was on the pitch. Played a fantastic 50 yard ball to spring Moloto in on goal. He brings a completely different dynamic to the team, and it will be fascinating to see how he factors into things going forward.
Michael Cox – 7.5: Replaced Ropapa Mensah in the 73rd minute. Although he lacks Mensah’s pace, he makes very smart runs and finds pockets of space well. Made a strong run to the near post, but failed to connect to a low, driven cross. Unfortunate, since a shot on target probably would have resulted in a goal. A strong performance off the bench.