Player Ratings: Nashville SC vs. Charleston Battery

The guys at Speedway Soccer Pod are back with their latest player ratings, this time breaking down the rainy 1-1 draw against Charleston.

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Matt Pickens – 5.0: Made a terrible decision to punch a free kick back into a crowd of players, gifting Charleston with a goal. The weather definitely impacted the decision, but if he had held onto the ball, Nashville would have walked away with a crucial win. Other than that, he was only called on twice.

Kosuke Kimura – 6.5: Linked up well with Jome in the first half and Winn in the second half, but otherwise pretty quiet. Wasn’t tested much defensively.
Justin Davis – 7.0: The natural left back played as a right center back after Woodberry was dropped and Bourgeois was recovering from injury. Had a pretty strong showing. Wasn’t asked to do a whole lot defensively but was strong passing the ball out of the back. Drew a red card from Okonkwo in the 60th minute.
Liam Doyle – 7.0: About the same as Davis. Solid on both sides of the ball.
Taylor Washington – 6.5: Linked up well with Winn in the first half, although he wasn’t really asked to play the final ball much. Worked hard in the second half, but was really limited by being stuck in the middle of the infield swamp.
Ish Jome – 5.5: Really, really quiet all night. Moved to the left wing in the second half and wasn’t helped by the field conditions on that side. Withdrawn for Mensah after 69 minutes.
Matt LaGrassa – 6.5: Linked play well and tried to push the tempo, but his final ball was a bit off. Really needed to test the keeper more from range given the conditions.
Michael Reed – 6.0: Didn’t get forward as much as LaGrassa, probably by design. Like LaGrassa, really needed to test the keeper more.
Alan Winn – 6.0: Caused problems on the edge of the box, but his final ball was disappointing. Didn’t attempt a shot in 84 minutes on the field. Replaced by Shroot.
Lebo Moloto – 7.0: Had a very lively start to the game and looked like Nashville’s most dangerous player. Landed awkwardly on his knee after reaching for a long ball over the top. Was able to walk off the field on his own, but at first glance it looks like a serious, potentially season-ending injury.
Tucker Hume – 7.5: Managed Nashville’s only shot on target, an audacious over-the-head attempt that slipped through Cooper’s hands for a goal. Was a target in the box all night, but wasn’t able to direct many of Nashville’s 41 crosses on goal. One of the few players who seemed willing to take a shot.

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Brandon Allen – 5.0:  Replaced the injured Moloto after 31 minutes, and was very uninvolved. Only touched the ball 16 times in his 60+ minutes on the pitch (for contrast, Moloto had 14 touches in 27 minutes). His biggest contribution was a missed half volley with the net gaping. He’s really faded recently.

Ropapa Mensah – 7.0: Replaced Jome in the 69th minute and brought a lot of energy to the match. Got onto the end of service into the box and stretched the defense well. Attempted three shots in his 20+ minutes on the field (only Hume had more). Ultimately couldn’t get a winner, but had a good showing.
Robin Shroot – N/R: Made his first appearance in 121 days (last appearance was May 24th in the Open Cup, with his last USL appearance coming on April 14th against Indy) and understandably looked rusty. Didn’t have time to impact the game at all.
MANAGER
Gary Smith – 4.0: Was unfortunate that a poor decision and bad weather led to Charleston’s goal. Other than that, not many positives from a coaching perspective. His team only took one shot on target (in the ninth minute), and only took eight shots in the remaining 86 minutes. Instead of instructing his team to test the keeper and take advantage of the weather (which had already led to one goal for Nashville), he instead attempted 41 crosses, which have been proven to be one of the more ineffective methods of chance creation. Had two home games in a week, and needed points from both. Instead, they got 1 point from two must-win games and are three spots outside playoff position with five games remaining, two of which are on the road, and two of which are at home to teams ahead of them in the table. It’s been a really bad stretch of games for Nashville, and his overly conservative and limited approach is at the forefront.

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