Nashville SC made Rapid work of Colorado in the fourth-round of the USL Cup, stifling the MLS team’s attack in its 2-0 win at Vanderbilt Stadium.
Here’s how the Speedway Soccer team rated each player’s performance.
Matt Pickens – 6.0: The seemingly low grade isn’t indicative of a poor performance. Pickens honestly didn’t have much to do. Colorado couldn’t manage a shot on target. Pickens called it “the easiest game of the year for me.”
London Woodberry – 8.5: Kept Nicholson and Serna quiet on the right, and got forward effectively. Having Woodberry back feels like a new signing.
Bradley Bourgeois – 8.5: Dominant. Tackled fearlessly and used the ball far more efficiently than usual. Another strong showing for Nashville’s most in-form defender.
Liam Doyle – 8.5: His long passing out of the back is a joy to watch. Defended well and avoided the careless mistakes that he’s often prone to. Assisted Mensah’s goal with a volleyed cross, and attempted an ambitious volleyed shot minutes later that wasn’t far off.
Justin Davis – 9.0: Got up and down the left flank with tremendous energy. Drove a cross into the box that was deflected in for Nashville’s opener, and effectively shut down Marlon Hairston. Limited Colorado’s chances.
Matt LaGrassa – 7.5: Played the first half centrally, underneath Brandon Allen before moving out to the right wing in the second half. Made really intelligent runs all through the evening. Replaced by Kosuke Kimura in the 85th minute.
Michael Reed – 8.5: The captain put in a shift. Covered every blade of (artificial) grass. Tackled well and was economical with the ball. Key to everything Nashville did.
Bolu Akinyode – 9.0: Is anyone surprised that he completed 90 percent of his passes? Just another day at the office for the midfielder. Positionally sound to limit Colorado’s effectiveness in front of goal. Strong candidate for Man of the Match.
Ish Jome – 8.0: What an addition to this side the Gambian has been! He has pace to burn and isn’t afraid to take on defenders. Had a few good looks at goal that didn’t quite come off, but he was dangerous all night. Replaced by Ryan James after 73 minutes.
Lebo Moloto – 9.0: The best player on the field for either team. Played with tremendous confidence and his touch was sublime. Found space well, both on the right side in the first half and underneath Allen in the second. Looked like he could do just about whatever he wanted. A joy to watch.
Brandon Allen – 7.5: Held up the ball well, but his link up play didn’t quite click, and he lacked the pace to get on to many of Nashville’s balls over the top. Still, he used his size well and occupied Colorado’s back three effectively. Not a flashy performance, but key to getting the win.
Ryan James – 7.5: His introduction for Jome in the 73rd minute saw the Boys in Gold switch to a back 5, with James on the right and Davis on the left. Moved to the right side of midfield when Kimura was introduced. Defended well and helped secure the victory for Nashville.
Ropapa Mensah – 8.5: Replaced Brandon Allen in the 77th minute and scored with his first touch, a beautiful header that clipped the far post on its way in. Brought pace up front that stretched Colorado’s backline, and held the ball up really well to kill off time late in the game.
Kosuke Kimura – N/A: Replaced LaGrassa with five minutes to go and ran hard, but with almost no time left, he barely got involved.