Nashville SC put up a strong fight bought was knocked out of the U.S. Open Cup by Louisville City FC last week. Here’s how the Speedway Soccer Pod team rated each player’s performance.
Gary Smith – 7.5: Played a strong lineup from the outset. Can’t be blamed for the horrific mistakes in defense that cost the team two goals, and whatever he did at halftime worked, as we saw a much more motivated side come out of the break.
Matt Pickens – 7.0: Not a ton he could have done on either goal, although he maybe could have come out to claim the cross leading up to the first. Hard to blame him for it, though, and he made an incredible save late in the game to deny Louisville a third.
London Woodberry – 8.0: A really good showing from the defender. Combined really well with Moloto and LaGrassa and was key to many of Nashville’s best attacking moves. His service into the box was on point, and he was unfortunate to be let down by some poor finishing.
Bradley Bourgeois – 7.0: Defended well and wasn’t at fault for either goal. Does really well to get on the end of set pieces and balls into the box, but missed and incredible chance deep in stoppage time that would have sent the game into extra time. For all the chances he gets, he needs to start putting them away. Visibly devastated by the miss.
Liam Doyle – 7.0: Similar to Bourgeois, although he was a bit slow to react on Louisville’s opener. Played the ball well out of the back and combined well with Davis. Not at fault for Louisville’s second.
Justin Davis – 7.0: A decent showing, but he was slow to close down Ownby on Louisville’s first goal. He worked hard but his service into the box was below his usual standard, and he was taken off for Washington after 62 minutes.
Matt LaGrassa – 8.5: Led the team with 5 shots, completed 93 percent of his passing, and scored a fantastic header from a Woodberry cross. Switched with Moloto and played underneath the striker in the second half, and look solid. Dangerous all night, and probably Nashville’s best player on the day.
Michael Reed – 7.5: Same as usual for him. Somewhat culpable on Louisville’s opener, but otherwise solid. Pushed hard for an equalizer.
Bolu Akinyode – 7.5: Completed a high percentage of passes as always. Spread play well and found his fullbacks in space.
Ish Jome – 6.5: Drove the ball hard at defenders, but his effectiveness in the final third was limited, and he didn’t always make the right choice with his final pass. Completely lost DelPiccolo on Louisville’s winner on what should have been an easy clearance following a set piece. Taken off after 65 minutes for Alan Winn.
Lebo Moloto – 8.5: Rivaled LaGrassa for Nashville’s man of the match. Created several great chances, completed 95% of his passes, and was really creative in the final third. Switched with LaGrassa in the second half and played on the right, and seemed to enjoy the space. Couldn’t quite do enough to find an equalizer, though.
Ropapa Mensah – 7.5: Put in a good shift. Stretched Louisville’s defense, especially in the second half with strong runs out towards the wing. Connected well with Moloto in the final third, and had a fantastic chance early in the first half. Hit the side netting, but had a strong claim for a penalty that was waived off. Replaced by Brandon Allen after 62 minutes.
Taylor Washington – 8.0: Replaced Justin Davis and played an obviously more attacking role. Used his pace well on the touchline and had some great service into the box, creating three chances in his 28 minutes on the pitch.
Brandon Allen – 7.5: Replaced Mensah and stayed in Louisville’s box for most of his shift. Caused a lot of problems for their center backs and used his size to get on the end of balls into the box, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Alan Winn – 7.0: Replaced Jome after 65 minutes and worked hard. Didn’t create any chances of his own, but combined really well with Woodberry, LaGrassa, and Moloto to good effect.