At 6 feet 5 inches tall, it’s easy to see how Tucker Hume’s size creates matchup problems for most defenders, but the 24-year-old forward’s game has more dimensions than just his height.
Hume’s two goals against Inter Nashville FC on Wednesday demonstrated poise, timing, a bit of clever footwork and two confident finishes. Hume was deservedly named Man of the Match in the first ever Nashville Derby.
“Our life got a bit easier when the big fella [Hume] got the job done,” Nashville SC Head Coach Gary Smith said after the 2nd Round U.S. Open Cup match. “You know, Cup football is all about being in the next round.”
Hume’s first goal came in the 19th minute on a Robin Shroot through ball where Hume timed his run to stay on sides, beat Inter’s back line and set up a one-on-one situation with goalkeeper Hayden Coffman. Instead of just smashing the ball, Hume took two smart touches inside the box to draw Coffman off his line. Hume then dribbled around Coffman and calmly slipped the ball in the back of the net.
“Any time to hit the back of the net is always a good time, but for sure against another Tennessee team,” Hume said after the game. “We want to be the best team in Nashville and the best team we can be. We want people talking about Nashville SC. Inter Nashville is a good team. They came out ready to play. I’ve been on the other side of Open Cup games where I was on the PDL team playing the USL team and I wanted nothing more than to beat them and show them that we were better than them. I saw their energy tonight and respected it.”
Hume’s second goal in the 89th minute locked up the win on a fantastic cutback move and left-footed strike over Coffman and off the bottom of crossbar. Shroot racked up his second assist of the game finding Hume on the edge of the box to set up the goal.
After making 3 appearances to start the USL season, Hume’s been left on the bench in recent weeks. In the 133 minutes he’s seen of USL action in 2018, Hume has taken only one shot. Hume scored three goals in 23 appearances last season for the Ottawa Fury FC.
Smith said Hume’s been unlucky not to get more playing time, but last night’s performance might get the “big man” more league minutes.
“He has done himself a world of good by crashing in two goals and they have taken us through,” Smith said. “That is the difference, somebody has to score. You can have all the possession and create all the chances you want but someone has to score – big man has done it tonight, he is the hero of the hour, terrific.”
3rd Round of U.S. Open Cup Back in Nashville
Smith was happy with his team’s performance against Inter, but he understands it is just one game and there is more work to be done in the U.S. Open Cup.
“Yes, you want a good performance, and I think there are many things in this performance that I can be pleased about. Possession stats are great, great opportunities were created, some wonderful individual displays,” Smith said. “To that effect, we have done our job and we get the chance to progress and play against the Mississippi Brilla. It looks like they have had a fantastic result tonight against Indy Eleven which we can’t take lightly. Again, we prepared very well for this game, as you can see from the guys that were out on the field, that I put out a strong team. I have a lot of respect for the competition and a lot of respect for the group we played here tonight.”
Nashville SC will face Clinton, Mississippi’s Brilla after the PDL side defeated Indy Eleven 1-0. The 3rd round game will played back at Vanderbilt next Wednesday at 6 p.m. If Nashville SC can get past Brilla, they might face an MLS squad in the fourth round.