The other day, we put out a poll trying to answer a simple question.
The poll was this.
POLL: Are you concerned with Nashville SC's chances of making the USL playoffs in these final five games? Feel free to explain your reasoning behind your voting decision.
— Golden Goal (@GoldenGoalNash) September 24, 2018
An overwhelming amount of you said you are indeed concerned for Nashville SC’s hopes of making the playoffs, and there’s plenty of evidence to support your worrisome manner.
We also asked you to explain your reasoning why you felt the way you did. Here’s what some of you had to say.
Because we’re one of the three worst attacking teams in all @USL and struggle to win on the road.
— Ben (@BWrightSSP) September 24, 2018
Because we are averaging 1 point a game for the last 14 games. 5 points likely wouldn't be enough.
— Steve Kraft (@scorp111173) September 24, 2018
Once it really feels like nobody can finish, they just start throwing desperation crosses to nobody. Team can’t score, and now their best midfielder seems like he’s out for the season.
I hope they do it, but it seems real unlikely.
— toni tony tonee (@TonyQuimJr) September 25, 2018
I voted 'yes' because the team is extremely underwhelming in attack, they are bad on the road, and they have a bad tendency to match the level of their opponent which with both ATL2 and TFC2 upcoming makes both of those must have games much less than locks. Without 6pts, no shot.
— Soccer Circus Enthusiast (@telecommando) September 24, 2018
Think our offensive production has actually declined in the back half of the season. We play all right everywhere up to the final 3rd then run out of ideas or quality beyond getting crosses in. We don't have or use pace from deep to to make opponents open their lines.
— Brian Wilson (@TaijiBrian) September 25, 2018
From what I’ve seen, they have trouble finishing. Once you get in front of the goal, you need to try & score. Not wait for someone else to do it for you
— Captain J (@Captain_JLH) September 24, 2018
Anyone else notice a common theme behind these answers?
Yep, it’s the lethargic offense and inability to finish in front of goal, a problem that seems to be brought up again and again at an alarming rate. It’s something fans thought Nashville SC had left behind in the middle of the season. But alas, the results don’t lie.
Nashville is winless in the month of September, and have only collected 10 points in its last 10 games. And now with arguably their most creative player on offense in Lebo Moloto out due to an undisclosed knee injury for the forseeable future, the Boys in Gold will somehow have to find the magic touch in front of goal in this important road contest against Atlanta United 2.
Currently in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, Nashville can vault itself back into the playoff picture with three points Wednesday if they take advantage of the game in hand.
Fail, and the concerns of not making the postseason will certainly magnify.
Team: Atlanta United 2
- Affiliation: Atlanta United (reserve side)
- Stadium: Coolray Field (10,427)
- Coach: Scott Donnelly (1st year)
- Donnelly has spent more than 15 years as a coach, most recently as an assistant with the U.S. U-18 National Team.
- He helped develop 15 professional players during his time as a college coach, five of whom were MLS SuperDraft picks
- Donnelly served as an assistant for the U.S. U-17 World Cup team that reached the quarterfinals, thanks in part to three Atlanta United prospects
- First Season: 2018
- 2017 Finish: N/A
- Best-ever Finish: N/A
- Three Fun Facts:
- The team will play at the same stadium as the Atlanta Braves’ AAA baseball affiliate
- Three members of the Atlanta United academy played in the FIFA U-17 World Cup
- Atlanta United previously had a close relationship with the Charleston Battery, to whom they have loaned multiple players
Here’s what Nashville SC Gary Smith had to say about the match. in which we could see a strong Atlanta United 2 side filled with talent from their MLS counterparts.
“We hold the key to the post season at this point. Wednesday night will be an instrumental evening. I would fully expect, and I know that their group can be interchangeable at any point, but we will go there expecting their strongest team will be out [on the field]. They did it here, so why would they not do it there. I will prepare for that. They have some extremely talented individual players and some very good team players that may well be in their side. It won’t be easy, but we have not seen one yet that was. It has been a tough season.”
You can stream the match on ESPN+, but it will not be available to watch locally. You can also listen to the game on ESPN 94.9 Game 2.
Andy Simmons, Golden Goal
Goal: Tucker Hume
MOTM: Michael Reed
Fearless Forecast: Nashville SC picks up a red.
Ben Wright, Speedway Soccer
Goals: Ropapa Mensah, Matt LaGrassa
MOTM: Matt LaGrassa
Fearless Forecast: Nashville attempts 20+ crosses
Johnathan Slape, Speedway Soccer
Goal: Ropapa Mensah
MOTM: Bolu Akinyode
Fearless Forecast: Nashville actually picks up a point after giving up the first goal