Nashville SC player ratings vs. New York Red Bulls II

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Matt LaGrassa – 6.5: Played as a no. 8 in the first half, and a withdrawn forward in the second.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.

Player ratings: Nashville SC vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies

The guys at Speedway Soccer Pod are back, this time they’ve got player ratings from Tuesday tough 2-1 loss against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Make sure you go check out their latest episode here.


Matt Pickens – 6.5: Put in a really tough position when Hristov was played through, but dove in for the ball when Hristov was going away from goal. Could do absolutely nothing to prevent Woodberry’s own goal, and didn’t have much else to do.

Kosuke Kimura – 8.0: Despite the scoreline, had one of his better games of the year. Put in a gorgeous ball to Moloto at the back post and had more great service throughout the night.

Bradley Bourgeois – 7.0: Got caught high up the pitch when Reed went to clear a ball that Bourgeois was calling for and left a ton of space behind him. Other than that was solid until he was forced off by injury in the 53rd minute. The result may have been different had he been able to finish the game.

Liam Doyle – 6.5: Had a quieter night for the most part, but made a really poor decision to try and close down Poku, letting Hristov get in free on goal to set up the penalty kick. Other than that his biggest impact was blasting a free kick straight into the wall.

Justin Davis – 7.0: Pushed high all night and supported Winn really well. Not his most involved performance, but a mostly positive performance.

Lebo Moloto – 7.0: Took his goal brilliantly on a volley with his weak foot. Drifted in and out of the game, though, and never quite found a rhythm. Missed a header from point blank range from a fantastic Hume cross, and missed an empty net from close range in stoppage time after the keeper spilled the ball. Feels strange to give him a low mark after scoring a great goal, but if he’d taken his chances better Nashville would’ve walked away with a point.

Michael Reed – 6.0: Challenged for a ball that Bourgeois was calling for and gave it right to Poku, setting up their counter attack and penalty. Clearly misplayed a couple of easy passes and overall had a pretty quiet night.

Bolu Akinyode – 7.0: A pretty average performance by his standards. Moved the ball quickly and cleaned up messes, allowing Nashville to push high, especially in the first half when they were dominant.

Alan Winn – 7.5: Had a fantastic first half, consistently beating Gorskie and Taku on the left wing. Worked the ball really well around the 18 yard box and was key to several of Nashville’s best attacks. Faded in the second half and made way for Washington with 17 minutes to go.

Matt LaGrassa – 8.0: Played underneath Hume and looked much more comfortable centrally than he did on the wing vs North Carolina. At the heart of Nashville’s attack, worked the ball around well, and created several chances. One of the few positives in a disappointing result.

Tucker Hume – 6.0: Highly involved, not very efficient. Had several chances on goal. Two in particular he should have done better with, one a shot he put too close to the keeper from the top of the box, and another from inside the 6-yard-box where he tried to chip the keeper. If he’d kept it low and to either side of the keeper it was a certain goal. Got great service all night, and Nashville really needed better finishing to get a result. Replaced by Allen after 73 minutes.


London Woodberry – 4.5: Replaced the injured Bourgeois after 53 minutes. Never really found the game with Nashville dominating possession in the other end, but handed Tampa three points with an awful own goal. Inexplicably tried to guide the ball wide of the post, and instead headed it straight into his own net. He looked devastated after the match, with good reason.

Taylor Washington – 6.5: Replaced Winn in the 73rd minute, and brought his customary high levels of energy, but never really got involved.

Brandon Allen – 6.0: Came on for Hume after 73 minutes, and only touched the ball 4 times in his 24 minutes on the pitch. Had a chance from close range deep into stoppage time, and put it straight at the keeper.


Gary Smith – 4.5: It may seem harsh to blame him when the team didn’t finish their chances, but his team has struggled to finish chances all year and haven’t shown any consistent signs of improvement. This game was absolutely a must-win for Nashville, and they couldn’t find a way to break through. A loss on Saturday will put Nashville’s playoff hopes in jeopardy, and should put Smith under significant pressure as well. He has to figure out a way to make this lifeless attack semi-functional if Nashville wants to get into the playoffs.

Player Ratings: Nashville SC vs. Charlotte Independence

The guys at Speedway Soccer Pod are back with their player ratings, this time they look back at the 1-0 road defeat against Charlotte Independence.


CJ Cochran – 6.0: Didn’t see Watson’s shot until late, but still could have done better. Other than that didn’t have much to do.

Kosuke Kimura – 6.5: Pretty solid defensively, but wasn’t very effective in the attack.
Bradley Bourgeois – 7.0: Really good defensively, and continued to build on his recent showings in the passing game, completing 88 percent. Missed a header from close range in the 90th minute.
London Woodberry – 7.0: Like Bourgeois, strong defensively, limiting Charlotte to no real chances and only one shot in the second half. Completed 91 percent of his passes and composed throughout.
Ryan James – 6.5: Like Kimura, he wasn’t super involved going forward, although he did link well with Washington a couple of times.
Alan Winn – 6.5: Worked really hard all night and had some dangerous moments, although he wasn’t as clinical as he should have been and held onto the ball too long a couple of times. Put a beautiful cross right on Hume’s head but he couldn’t convert.
Matt LaGrassa – 6.5: Energetic and hard working. Linked well with Akinyode and Moloto, and looked really dangerous to start the second half, but picked up a knock a few minutes after the break and came off in the 53rd minute.
Bolu Akinyode – 7.0: Typically strong defensively and moved the ball well, completing 95 percent of his passes. Hard to fault him for missing chances when that’s clearly not his role in this team, but he should’ve done better with two headers from close range.
Taylor Washington – 7.0: High energy and strong delivery from wide positions, as usual. Moved back to left back after James went off and overlapped well. A strong showing, although he’ll be frustrated with some poor finishing from his forwards.
Lebo Moloto – 6.0: Started out brightly but faded as the game went on. Had a great chance from 10 yards out that was tipped onto the post.
Tucker Hume – 6.0: Got into good positions and occupied the center backs well. Had a fantastic chance after Winn crossed a beautiful ball that found him unmarked in the 6-yard-box. Put his header over when he absolutely should be expected to score there. Saw a strong shot saved late in the game. Played well, but as a forward it’s his job to score from those positions, and if Nashville had taken a 1-0 lead, things may have turned out very differently.
Michael Reed – 8.0: Replaced the injured LaGrassa after 53 minutes and picked right back up where he left off against Richmond. Completed every pass he attempted and had some fantastic delivery from set pieces. Like others, he’ll be frustrated with the poor finishing from Nashville’s forwards.
Kris Tyrpak – 5.5: Replaced James after 60 minutes and went off injured 20 minutes later. Never really got involved.
Brandon Allen – N/R: Replaced the injured Tyrpak in the 80th minute and didn’t make an impact.
Gary Smith – 5.0: It feels a little harsh to give such a low rating, but it’s the cumulative result of consistently poor results on the road. His team defended well and should’ve scored a couple, despite not creating a high number of chances. His substitutions were forced by injury, but the results still aren’t there. His team has been outscored 12 to 7 on the road. They’ve only earned one point after conceding first, and are 2-6-6 on the road. With an away playoff game looking increasingly inevitable, he needs to figure out these attacking issues quickly.

Player Ratings: Nashville SC vs. Richmond Kickers

The guys at Speedway Soccer Pod are back with their player ratings, this time they evaluate the 4-0 victory against Richmond. image1 (1)

Matt Pickens – 8.0: Made 5 saves, although none of them were too difficult. Was a calming presence and his distribution was on point.

Kosuke Kimura – 8.0: Had plenty of space in which to operate on the right flank and used it to good effect. Put in a great ball to LaGrassa for Nashville’s third goal.
Bradley Bourgeois – 8.5: Finally got his first goal for the Boys in Gold (wearing navy on the day) with a really well taken header from a corner. Otherwise defended solidly and completed a team-high 96.4 percent of his passes. Looked like he picked up a slight knock and came off for Woodberry after 68 minutes.
Liam Doyle – 8.0: Wasn’t tested much at all, but his passing out of the back was key to Nashville’s dominance.
Justin Davis – 7.5: Passed out of the back well, but didn’t always track back quickly enough, letting Richmond attackers in behind a couple of times. Doyle covered well for the most part, but Davis was forced to pick up a yellow card after bringing down an attacker.
Alan Winn – 7.5: Worked hard all night and got into good positions. He connected well, especially with Moloto and Kimura, but he didn’t go at defenders as aggressively as he should have done, and his end product didn’t quite come off.
Matt LaGrassa – 9.0: Started out as a #8 and played the second half as a second forward underneath Hume. His passing was on point (94.3 percent) and he opened up all kinds of space for his teammates. Took his goal really well and is in a really good run of form.
Michael Reed – 9.5: His best performance of the season. At the heart of every attack Nashville had, setting up seven of their 15 shots and getting three assists. His delivery from crosses and set pieces was on point, and Akinyode’s halftime introduction freed him up even more. He’s now tied with Moloto with a team-leading 5 assists, and his performance was one of the highlights of the season so far.
Kris Tyrpak – 7.0: Really involved, but his end product wasn’t there. Never really looked up to the tempo of the game, and was taken off at the half for “being winded”. He’s still making the transition from NPSL to USL, and may be best off the bench at this point.
Lebo Moloto – 7.5: Always composed on the ball and found some good spaces, but drifted in and out of the match, resorting to shots from distance. Not a bad performance by any means, but also not one of his best.
Tucker Hume – 9.0: Dominant in the air. Took his two headed goals really well, occupied both center backs all night, and linked play really well. His presence up top gives the team a target to play off of and adds a completely different dimension. On merit he absolutely deserves to be in the starting XI until someone can take his spot from him.
Bolu Akinyode – 8.5: Replaced Tyrpak at the break and was an immediate improvement. Freed up Reed and LaGrassa to get forward and broke up multiple Richmond attacks. It’s simple – this team is exponentially better when he’s on the pitch.
London Woodberry – 7.5: Came on for Bourgeois after 68 minutes. Didn’t have a busy night defensively, but was strong in possession.
Brandon Allen – 7.0: Replaced LaGrassa after 79 minutes and didn’t get super involved, but linked up well when he did get on the ball.
Gary Smith – 8.0: Set the team up well and made the right subs. Should expect to win at home against this quality of opposition, but deserves credit for a much-improved offensive performance than we’ve seen recently.

Nashville SC player ratings vs. Ottawa Fury FC

The guys at Speedway Soccer Pod are back with their Nashville SC player evaluations and ratings, this time recapping the positives from the 2-0 victory against Ottawa Fury FC Friday night.

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Matt Pickens – 8.0: Didn’t have an incredibly busy night, but was aggressive off his line when called on and made three saves.

London Woodberry – 8.5: Started on the right side of a back three. Solid defensively and really good in possession. Came close to scoring on a floated header that nearly caught Crépeau  off his line. Moved to right back once Bourgeois was introduced.
Liam Doyle – 8.5: Had a really strong outing. Aggressive with his forward passing and picked out pockets of space well. Made 11 clearances and popped up in good areas defensively, including a goal-saving clearance in the 81st minute. One of his better performances of the season. 
Justin Davis – 8.0: A veteran defensive performance. At times wasn’t patient enough in possession, opting for a ball over the top instead of finding an open teammate, but overall a good night.
Ish Jome – 8.0: Worked tirelessly from the right wingback spot. Consistently found himself in good 1v1 spots and consistently burned his defender to get to the endline. His service into the box didn’t always find a forward, but dangerous all night. Came off for Bourgeois after 65 minutes.
Matt LaGrassa – 8.5: Continued his good run of form with his first USL goal for Nashville. Got in good spots all night and sees space really well. Another strong showing. Voted Man of the Match by the fans.
Michael Reed – 8.0: Played as the lone holder in a 3-1-4-2, and covered a ton of ground. Kept the ball moving well and made a few key tackles. Good night.
Lebo Moloto – 9.0: Nashville’s most dangerous player on the night. Played in a deeper role than usual, and was inventive all game. Linked up well with Washington and LaGrassa, and got the assist for LaGrassa’s opener. Came off for Akinyode after 80 minutes.
Taylor Washington – 8.5: Used his pace really well and consistently put in good service to the box. Created the most chances of any Nashville player (three) and looks really comfortable at that left wingback spot.
Brandon Allen – 8.0: Had three shots on target, one of which was the penalty, and the other two coming within a couple seconds of each other. Worked really hard, even though he wasn’t as involved as he’d like to be. Scored Nashville’s second with a well-taken penalty.
Tucker Hume – 8.5: Other than Moloto, Nashville’s best player. Got into plenty of dangerous spots, troubled the defense with his size, and held up the ball well. Did well to earn a penalty in the second half. Replaced by Mensah after 70 minutes after putting in another strong shift. This team has a different dynamic when he starts, and it’s worked well the past two matches.
Bradley Bourgeois – 8.0: Came back earlier than expected after a month out through injury, and looked like he hadn’t missed a minute. Made a couple key interventions defensively. It will be really important to this team’s playoff push to have him healthy.
Ropapa Mensah – 7.5: Replaced Hume after 70 minutes and caused problems. Had a good shot go just wide and stretched the field as always. Good showing.
Bolu Akinyode 8.0: Came on with 10 minutes left to play in place of Moloto, and helped Nashville close the game out. Completed a cool 92 percent of his passes and did well to maintain possession late in the game.
Gary Smith – 8.5: His switch to a back 3 has really revitalized this team, and they put in another strong performance against a playoff-caliber team. For the second straight game they’ve looked creative in the final third, and his incorporation of Tucker Hume into the starting XI has paid off. Hopefully this is the start of a strong playoff push.