Gary Smith raised his arms and exulted, teeming with joy as his MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids flooded the pitch on a frosty Toronto night in November 2010.
Keeper Matt Pickens and key defender Kosuke Kimura, both starters in the match, were sandwiched amidst the mob.
But less than a year later, Smith found himself out of a job.
“When I took the job, I was told I would have the final say,” Smith told ESPN following his dismissal from the club in 2011. “But over time that required more confrontation, more energy, and I was sick and tired of the backbiting.”
Almost eight years after he left the Rocky Mountains, Smith has a chance for vengeance against the club that booted him less than a year after he provided its only title.
Nashville Soccer Club will host Colorado Rapids on June 5 or 6 in its first-ever U.S. Open Cup match against a Major League Soccer squad. The match will take place at Vanderbilt’s football stadium.
Colorado is the former stomping ground of Nashville SC Head Coach Gary Smith, who led the squad to an MLS Cup in 2010. Nashville goalie Matt Pickens and defender Kosuke Kimura played on that team. Smith led the Rapids to a 47-30-35 record in four seasons, from 2008 to 2011.
Colorado has been to the cup final just once, losing to Rochester Rhinos in 1999. This year the Rapids are in the cellar of the Western Conference, mustering just 2 wins in six matches so far this year.
Nashville earned the fourth-round berth via a 3-1 win Wednesday over Mississippi Brilla at the Vanderbilt Soccer Complex. The Boys in Gold began cup play with a 2-0 victory over Inter Nashville FC of the NPSL.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Ian Ayre may have spent five years overseeing the events on Anfield’s vaunted pitch, but it didn’t take a very hard pitch to sell him on Nashville.
After two visits to Music City over the past several weeks, the former Liverpool top executive was announced as the CEO of Nashville’s MLS team Monday during a ceremony at Nissan Stadium.
“It’s probably one of the most entertaining cities in the world,” Ayre told Golden Goal at the ceremony. “I think it’s a great, vibrant city with a huge entertainment heritage. What a great place to create a new brand and hopefully take the city by storm.”
Nashville’s entry into the MLS may still take place in 2019 and has not been determined, according to an update obtained by Music City Soccer from the North American World Cup’s United Bid Committee.
The clarification was necessary after an earlier statement to the Nashville Business Journal said Nashville would not begin its MLS journey in 2019.
Nashville Soccer Club earned its first-ever win Sunday in a closed-door friendly against Orlando City SC, a 3-1 win, according to a tweet from Nashville defender Justin Davis.