April 14, 2018
Until last Wednesday, that was the last time Nashville SC had come away from a match with a loss to their name. The U.S. Open Cup loss to Louisville City FC did snap their 11-game unbeaten run in all competitions, but like most teams who have faced adversity after a tough loss, the Boys in Gold are ready to bury the recent result and look ahead.
“It wasn’t what I planned, wanted, or expected from the team,” said Nashville SC coach Gary Smith after the loss.
“I have to suspect that it was a bit of nervousness, as every one is pumped up to do well. Maybe, too many of our guys had gotten themselves whipped up into a frenzy. We’ve had a terrific league run as well. The lads had some time to recover, and I don’t expect there to be any fallout from this.”
Ironically enough, Nashville’s opponent Tuesday, Indy Eleven, is the last team to hand them a loss in league play with a 2-1 defeat at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“I think we’ve spent a lot of time studying the film and their tendencies individually, and as a group,” said midfielder Matt LaGrassa of Indy Eleven, who are currently riding a three-game unbeaten streak.
“I think they’re a side that we rate highly and they’re going to be difficult. With our record, we’re expecting a lot, especially at home.”
Here are some important tidbits to keep in mind heading into the match Tuesday:
- Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at First Tennessee Park. The game can also be watched on ESPNews, which makes it the first televised game on an ESPN channel Nashville SC has participated in this season
- Nashville SC is still unbeaten in USL play since the April 14 defeat, going 4-0-4 and collecting 16 out of 24 points during that stretch. The Boys in Gold also still hold an unblemished record at home.
- With the win, Nashville has the chance to jump up to second place for the moment in the Eastern Conference standings. Two of the three teams ahead of them, the aforementioned Louisville City FC and Pittsburgh Riverhounds, play against each other the next night. Depending on what happens in that contest, Nashville could be heading into the weekend in second or third place. Of course, that’s barring a Nashville win Tuesday.
- In the last meeting between these two squads, Ropapa Mensah scored the lone goal for Nashville. Mensah has gone on to be the club’s top goal-scorer so far this season with five to his name, including the stoppage time winner against North Carolina FC last Saturday. It’ll be interesting to see if he gets the starting nod, despite the fact that most of his damage this season has come from him coming off the bench.
- This could turn into a keeper duel. Both Matt Pickens and Owain Fon Williams are in fantastic form in between the posts, as the two are at the top of the league in clean sheets. Pickens is tied with two other players for the league lead with seven, while Fon Williams is tied with two players for second with six.
- This is the final meeting between these two clubs in the regular season.
Projected Nashville SC starting lineup: