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.

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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.
SUBS:
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.
Manager:
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.
SUBS
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.
MANAGER
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.
 
SUBS
 
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.
Manager
 
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.

Nashville SC player ratings vs. Toronto FC II

Nashville SC became the first team this season in the USL to lose to Toronto FC II, falling 2-0 Saturday night in Rochester, NY.

The guys at Speedway Soccer Pod are here to once again give their objective and unbiased ratings from the match. Agree? Disagree? Let them know by reaching out to them on Twitter, or call their hotline at (615) 640-0664.

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CJ Cochran – 5.0: Made a horrific decision to try and tackle Srbely that gave away a really sloppy penalty. Wasn’t at fault for the second goal, and wasn’t incredibly busy the rest of the night, but his poor choice really cost Nashville.

Kosuke Kimura – 5.5: Not very effective going forward. Slow to react for Toronto’s second goal. Replaced by Mensah after 60 minutes.
London Woodberry – 4.5: Let Srbely get in behind him to win the penalty kick. Slow to react to Srbely again for Toronto’s second goal. Had a nice ball over the top for Ropapa Mensah, but that was his only notable positive contribution.
Liam Doyle – 5.0: Like Woodberry, let Srbely get in behind to win the penalty kick, only moments after he was burned by Srbely on the edge of the box, who dragged his shot just wide. Blasted a late free kick well over the bar.
Ryan James – 6.0: Mostly solid defensively. Popped up with a few key interceptions. Slid over to right back after Kimura came off.
Ish Jome – 4.5: Very ineffective. Wasn’t always found when he was in space, but very wasteful when he had the ball. Taken off for Alan Winn in the 56th minute.
Matt LaGrassa – 5.5: Was more ambitious than Akinyode, but his passing didn’t always come off. Only managed two shots and didn’t create a chance, which is really poor considering the opposition.
Bolu Akinyode – 6.5: Completed 90% of his passes, but needs to offer more going forward. Probably Nashville’s best player on the night, but that’s a pretty low bar.
Taylor Washington – 5.5: Worked hard and covered a lot of ground. Didn’t get the ball enough when in space, but didn’t make a lot happen when he had the ball. Moved back to left back once Kimura was taken off.
Lebo Moloto – 5.0: Very ineffective. Didn’t take a shot and only created one chance against one of the worst team in league history. Drifted all over the field to try to get involved, but never really found the game. Taken off with an apparent hamstring injury in the 76th minute. Hopefully he’ll recover in time for the Cincinnati match, as this attack is almost completely dependent on him at the moment.
Brandon Allen – 4.5: Once again, completely uninvolved. Touched the ball three times in Toronto’s box, and only had 12 touches in Toronto’s half. Had two goals waved off for offside, one of which was the correct call, while the other was more questionable. Still, he didn’t take a shot against the worst team in the league. That’s unacceptable for a player brought in to be Nashville’s primary goal scorer. Hasn’t scored in 9 games, with his last goal coming against Penn FC on June 2nd.
SUBS:
Alan Winn – 5.0: Replaced Jome in the 56th minute and was better, but only slightly. Didn’t get off a shot despite Nashville desperately needing a goal.
Ropapa Mensah – 6.0: Replaced Kimura after 60 minutes in a clear signal of attacking intent, and brought a much needed energy to the side. Managed a good half volleyed shot after a good ball over the top from Woodberry. And decent showing, but his end product wasn’t there.
Tucker Hume – 5.5: Managed a couple shots, including a header from close range that lacked any real power. Whether by his own choice or by instruction, he drifted wide a lot and tried to put crosses in the box, when he should be on the end of crosses. Like other Nashville attackers, ineffective.
MANAGER
Gary Smith – 4.0: Went to play possibly the worst team in USL history on a neutral field and was outclassed. Nashville did have several travel issues, with many of the players arriving three hours before kickoff. Despite this, Nashville had by far the better squad and much more to play for, and once again his team lacked any ideas or cohesion in the final third. Smith needs to figure out how to generate any kind of consistent attacking threat quickly. It has been a problem all season, and is quickly starting to threaten any chances Nashville has at a playoff run.

 

Nashville SC Player Ratings vs. Ottawa Fury F.C.

Nashville SC dropped points on the road in its first international trip of the season, losing 2-0 to Ottawa Fury. Here are the Nashville SC player ratings from that match, courtesy of Speedway Soccer Pod. You can check out their latest episode recapping this match here.

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Matt Pickens – 6.5: Made a couple of saves and wasn’t at fault for either goal. Took a knock in stoppage time. Keep your eye on the injury report to see if he is listed.

London Woodberry – 5.0: His only offensive contribution was a blocked shot. Was mostly solid defensively, but picked up a really needless second yellow in the 94th minute. Was lucky not to be shown a straight red for putting his studs into Tony Taylor’s chest. He’ll be suspended for the midweek game against Atlanta.
Bradley Bourgeois – 7.0: Worked hard all night and was solid defensively, despite never looking 100 passes fit. Started grabbing his hamstring early in the first half and was forced off in the 83rd minute, forcing Nashville to play a man down. Would be shocked to see him in the squad against Atlanta.
Liam Doyle – 7.0: Had a pretty decent night. Did really well on Ottawa’s first goal to cut down Sanon’s angle and deny him the shot. Distribution was solid as always, and despite the scoreline had a good performance. With the injuries and suspension, he seems like a lock to continue starting the next few games.
Justin Davis – 6.0: Was an attacking threat down the left all night, putting in some good crosses and completing 84 percent of his passes. However, he gave the ball away really sloppily just outside his own box, directly leading to Ottawa’s second goal.
Taylor Washington – 5.5: Started on the right wing, and played as a number 10 to start the second half. Replaced by Tucker Hume after 60 minutes. Largely ineffective going forward, but then again so was the entire attack.
Matt LaGrassa – 7.0: Unfortunate to have one of his best performances in what may have been the worst result of the season. Was obviously more comfortable in a central role, saying “I am able to be more influential there.” Completed 83 percent of his passes and had a team-leading four shots. He sees space really well.
Michael Reed – 6.5: Looked less comfortable without Akinyode partnering him, but still created a team-high two chances. However, he often found himself occupying the same spaces as LaGrassa. Picked up a knock to his ankle and was replaced by Ryan James after 70 minutes.
Ish Jome – 5.5: Worked hard and got into some good spots. Beat his man on the dribble a few times, and had a shout for a penalty turned down in the first half. His end product in the final third still tends to disappoint. Like the rest of the attackers, mostly ineffective.
Brandon Allen – 5.0: Had one touch in the box all night. Managed a decent shot from it, but still… not good enough. Probably should’ve taken the penalty kick instead of Winn, though. Decided to stop marking Manella for Ottawa’s opening goal and left Davis isolated with two attackers. Frustrating.
Alan Winn – 5.0: Had three shots and created two chances, but looked really uncomfortable in a central role and eventually moved over to the right wing. Ended up taking the penalty kick in the 82nd minute, and hit the bar. Blew an opportunity to get three points on the road.
SUBS
Tucker Hume – 5.0: Replaced Washington in the 60th minute. Didn’t manage a shot. A very anonymous performance.
Ryan James – 6.0: Replaced the injured captain after 70 minutes. Pretty solid in possession. Not flashy, but not bad.
Kosuke Kimura – 5.0: Replaced Jome in the 79th minute, in what seemed to be a clear indication that Smith was settling for a draw. Played right midfield until Bourgeois went off injured, when he moved back to right back.
Manager
Gary Smith – 5.0: Was hurt by the lack of Mensah and Akinyode, but his team was not set up to create chances. His substitutions were conservative as well, leaving Moloto on the bench when the game sorely needed some creativity. Has to figure out a way to create more chances and get better results if Nashville wants to make the playoffs.