Nashville SC is unbeaten in five league matches after a 1-0 win against previously unblemished Pittsburgh Wednesday night. Here’s how the Speedway Soccer Pod team rated each player’s performance.
Ratings are on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best. For our purposes, 6 will function as an average grade. Players introduced after the 80th minute get a grade of “N/A”.
Gary Smith – 7.0: Set up his team to keep a clean sheet, and was able to rotate some players during a busy stretch of games. Didn’t make this an entertaining game to watch, but his game plan was effective and he’ll be happy to get three points away to a playoff-caliber team.
Matt Pickens – 7.5: Only made 3 saves, but was busy all night as Pittsburgh came close to goal multiple times. Organized the back line well and did his job when called on.
London Woodberry – 7.0: Didn’t contribute a ton offensively, but looks very composed on the ball. Put in a great defensive shift to keep Pittsburgh off the board.
Bradley Bourgeois – 8.0: Bourgeois has made a strong case to be Nashville’s most reliable defender. A very no nonsense defender. Made 11 clearances and left everything on the field to ensure the Boys In Gold brought home three points.
Liam Doyle – 7.0: Again, a mixed bag. Inexplicably tried to head the ball back to Pickens just outside the 6-yard-box while under pressure, nearly gifting the Riverhounds a goal within 10 minutes. Typically played some fantastic 50 yard passes, and did well to head the ball back across the box in the buildup to Nashville’s goal, but by no means an assured performance.
Ryan James – 7.0: Quiet offensively and had his hands full with Pittsburgh’s attack. Did enough to hold onto the clean sheet.
Matt LaGrassa – 6.5: Completed a much lower percentage of passes (61.9 percent) than usual for him, and tucked in really central. Saw a really good shot saved at the near post that directly lead to the corner Nashville scored from. Not his best game in gold, but good enough.
Michael Reed – 8.0: Worked hard on both sides of the ball. Made a few key tackles to end Pittsburgh attacks, and gets a bump for his assist on Allen’s winner.
Bolu Akinyode – 6.5: As expected he completed a high number of passes (84.8 percent). Given the opponent, it wasn’t surprising to see him be very conservative on the ball, but he didn’t get involved on the defensive side nearly enough. Another subpar performance by his standards, but he’ll be happy to get three points on his birthday.
Taylor Washington – 6.5: Patrolled the left wing with lots of energy, but went missing for long stretches of the game. For whatever reason, he gets in good spaces, but doesn’t usually get the ball. Like others on the day, not his best performance, but enough to get three points.
Ropapa Mensah – 6.0: Came off with an injury after 34 minutes, but struggled to get into the game. Hopefully he can recover in time to play Penn FC on Saturday, but don’t expect him to be rushed back into the lineup as Nashville are in a very busy stretch of the season.
Brandon Allen – 8.0: Does what he is in the team to do – score goals. He does well to bring down the ball and hold off defenders, but his link up play doesn’t always work out, and his passing is often a touch sloppy. Still, he finishes chances efficiently, and that’s one of the most valuable abilities in the game.
Lebo Moloto – 7.5: Replaced the injured Mensah after 34 minutes, and dropped slightly deeper than the Ghanaian. Used the ball mostly efficiently and tried to make things happen around Pittsburgh’s box, even if he did often take too long on the ball. One of Nashville’s few attacking threats in a very cagey match.
Ish Jome – 6.0: Replaced Washington after 70 minutes, and similarly wasn’t very involved. Still, he worked hard and supported Ryan James well on the left side.
Tucker Hume – N/A: Replaced Allen after 84 minutes. Was tasked with holding up the ball and keeping it in Pittsburgh’s end of the field, away from danger. Did well for the most part, but did give away a pretty needless foul in the corner that gave the ball back to the Riverhounds.