The guys at Speedway Soccer Pod are back with their latest player ratings, this time breaking down the 1-1 draw against New York Red Bulls II.
Matt Pickens – 8.5: Completely stranded for New York’s goal, but stepped up in a big way to deny Barlow from the penalty spot. Crucial to deny NY three points.
Kosuke Kimura – 6.5: A pretty quiet night by his standards. An outlet in possession, but his end product was non-existent.
Justin Davis – 7.5: He’s been solid since the switch to center back. Strong defensively and good in possession. Had a last minute winner ruled out (correctly) due to offsides. It’s tough to blame him for going for it, but he shouldn’t have been caught in an offside position, and when he was, he should have let the ball roll in on its own.
Liam Doyle – 6.5: Completely fell asleep on New York’s opener and let Moreno ghost in behind him while he marked the empty space in front of Pickens. Technically got the assist for Reed’s goal after touching a free-kick to him, and had a strong header from a corner denied by a good save in second half stoppage time.
Taylor Washington – 6.5: A quiet night by his standards in the attacking half, and like Doyle fell asleep for New York’s opener. Gave away a penalty a few minutes later, but it was a really harsh call by the ref and Pickens made sure it didn’t cost him. It wasn’t a bad performance, but a bit disappointing after his recent run of form.
Ish Jome – 5.5: Wasteful with the ball and looked gassed after 25 minutes. Hasn’t completed a successful cross since July 26th. Came off for Akinyode at the half.
Matt LaGrassa – 6.5: Played as a no. 8 in the first half, and a withdrawn forward in the second. It looked like he just had an off night. Struggled to complete passes that usually look routine for him, and had no real ideas in the final third.
Michael Reed – 8.0: You can’t strike a ball much better than he did for his first ever goal in a Nashville shirt. Otherwise, he controlled the midfield and consistently looked to make things happen in the final third, creating four chances for Nashville. A pretty good showing overall.
Alan Winn – 6.5: Busy without being productive, which is turning into the story of his season. Did really well to isolate defenders and attack them 1v1, but consistently took extra touches or dribbled back into traffic instead of playing a ball to an open teammate in the box. He has all the talent in the world, but needs to grow in his situational awareness. His biggest contribution was drawing a red card from Aguinaga. Replaced by Woodberry in second half stoppage time.
Tucker Hume – 7.5: Occupied the defense all night and got in good positions in the final third. Didn’t get a ton of service, and his lack of pace limits his effectiveness when he’s isolated up top. Overall, though, a good showing. Made way for Tyrpak in the 66th.
Ropapa Mensah – 8.5: Nashville’s best player on the night. Used his pace well to get behind the defense, ran at defenders with speed, worked the ball into good spots, and consistently looked to find teammates in the box. He’s shown a flexibility in recent games to bounce between central and wide roles, and he’s in a really good run of form.
Bolu Akinyode – 7.5: Replaced Jome at halftime and slotted in as a no. 6, allowing Reed and LaGrassa to push forward more. Did his job well.
Kris Tyrpak – 6.0: Replaced Hume with 24 minutes to play and didn’t have much impact, other than winning a couple of free-kicks in wide positions.
London Woodberry – N/R: Replaced Winn for the final three minutes in a pretty surprising substitution and slotted in as a third center back. Touched the ball once.
Gary Smith – 4.5: Playing in a must-win game, against a team who hasn’t won on the road all year, he was excessively conservative and set up a team with limited ideas in attack. It’s becoming all too familiar for Nashville fans. To his credit he started an unchanged lineup and gave Mensah and Winn freedom to find space in the final third, but he has no excuses for not being more aggressive after going up a man. His decision to bring on another center back and play with a back five in stoppage time was shocking.