Nashville SC Prepares for Mississippi Brilla in U.S. Open Cup

liam doyl header against inter nashville fc

Liam Doyle heads the ball away from an Inter Nashville FC player in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup at Vanderbilt. / Courtesy of Nashville SC

Nashville SC looks to stay hot against Mississippi Brilla when the teams face off in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup at Vanderbilt University’s Soccer/Lacrosse Complex tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Nashville SC is riding back-to-back wins in Nashville after defeating Louisville City FC at First Tennessee Park and Inter Nashville FC at Vanderbilt. After a slow offensive start, Nashville’s attack had a mini explosion with 4 goals against these teams.

Lebo Moloto put two balls past Louisville and Tucker Hume scored a brace against Inter. The defense has stayed solid as well, posting two clean sheets and limiting any major scoring chances.

Even though the Boys in Gold are playing their best soccer of the season, they should not overlook Brilla. The PDL side made history after defeating Indy Eleven 1-0 last week in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup. It was the club’s first victory over a professional team.

Let’s not forget Nashville lost to Indy Eleven 2-1 earlier this year.

Why Tonight Matters

The U.S. Open Cup is the longest running soccer tournament in America and brings a lot of history setting up David versus Goliath matches. Whoever wins tonight’s game will face an MLS team in the fourth round.

It’s not that Nashville or Brilla need any extra motivation, but the ability to go up against an MLS side presents a momentous opportunity for either team.

As stated earlier, Brilla notched its first win ever over a professional team last week so the chance to face the highest level of soccer in this country would be a historic event.

For Nashville, an MLS match up would create a chance for its USL roster to prove they belong at the next level. The game would feel like an open audition in front of newly announced Nashville MLS CEO Ian Ayre as he begins scouting players for the MLS squad.

Who Will Be In Nashville’s Starting XI? 

Head coach Gary Smith fielded a strong squad against Inter, but also made a few significant player rotations. Most notably was Hume starting up top, C.J. Cochran replacing Matt Pickens in goal, Josh Hughes in midfield and London Woodberry being subbed in after missing time with a knee injury.

Smith praised his “big fella” after scoring two goals against Inter, so it makes sense Hume would get back-to-back starts. Robin Shroot is also coming off his best game and deserves another start after setting up both of Hume’s goals.

Smith also has two new players, Brandon Allen and Ismaila Jome, which makes it even more difficult to predict Nashville’s starting XI against Brilla. Allen and Jome were announced on Tuesday and could add another dimension to Nashville’s attack.

How to Watch the Game

Here’s how you can watch online, and there are also tickets still available for purchase. Last week’s game at Vanderbilt had an exciting atmosphere and offers an intimate experience to watch these players up close.

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