Nashville SC player ratings vs. FC Cincinnati

Nashville SC came away with a 0-0 draw against future MLS side FC Cincinnati Saturday night at Nissan Stadium. Here’s how the Speedway Soccer Pod rated each player’s performance.

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Gary Smith – 7.5: Set up his team well and they looked likely to score multiple goals in the first half. Can’t be blamed for poor finishing. Was a little slow to make changes, especially to the wide players, but Bourgeois’s injury definitely complicated his substitution patterns.

Matt Pickens – 9.0: Didn’t have an incredibly busy night, but made two key saves in the last five minutes to keep Cincinnati from stealing three points.

Kosuke Kimura – 8.0: Worked hard all night, keeping the left side of Cincinnati’s attack pretty quiet. Got into the attack well and was always available to receive a pass.

Bradley Bourgeois – 7.5: Made a valiant effort, but was visibly struggling from the first few minutes. Still put in a good shift and shut down a couple Cincinnati attacks, but couldn’t last past the 53rd minute and was replaced by Woodberry. Hopefully it’s not a long-term injury.

Liam Doyle – 6.5: Shaky. Was lucky not to be called for a penalty kick in the first half, and was incredibly nonchalant in an attempt to win a ball deep in his own half, letting Cincinnati through on goal. Pickens bailed him out, but it wasn’t his best showing.

Justin Davis – 8.0: Found himself in all kinds of space on the left and took advantage of it, serving some fantastic balls into the box and creating four chances. Left Doyle isolated once or twice, but overall one of his best showings of the season.

Matt LaGrassa – 8.0: Fluctuated between a central and a wide role, rotating with Moloto. Always dangerous around Cincinnati’s box and saw some strong shots go just wide. He’s in a good run of form, but he needs to put some of those efforts on frame. Came off for Jome after 79 minutes.

Michael Reed – 8.0: The captain was everywhere. He passed aggressively and got in positions to shut down several Cincinnati passing moves. A good showing.

Bolu Akinyode – 8.0: Completed a casual 90 percent of his passes and made five tackles. Just another day at the office against the best team in the east. He’s quietly making a case for Nashville’s best player of the season.

Alan Winn – 8.0: One of Nashville’s best players on the night. Pacey and lively on the ball, giving former Arsenal defender Justin Hoyte all kinds of problems. Created three chances and was unlucky not to notch an assist. Came off for Washington after 73 minutes.

Lebo Moloto – 8.0: Dangerous all night, but loses points for poor finishing. Hit the post from 20 yards and missed two headers from close range, one just glancing past the far post and one saved by Newton for point blank range. Overall a good night, but his job is to score goals and he didn’t.

Brandon Allen – 7.5: Was dangerous in Cincinnati’s box. Had several good looks, creating two chances and taking five shots. Probably should have scored, though, and was gassed towards the end. If Bourgeois hadn’t been forced off with injury, Allen probably would have made way for Ropapa.


London Woodberry – 7.5: Replaced the injured Bradley Bourgeois after 53 minutes and picked up where he left off, defending well and passing well out of the back. Could see more time depending on how long Bourgeois is out.

Taylor Washington – 7.5: Came on for Winn and continued to stretch the field. Put a few decent balls into the box and kept Cincinnati’s defense occupied.

Ish Jome – 6.0: Replaced LaGrassa after 79 minutes and was pretty invisible. Hasn’t been good in recent weeks.


Player Ratings: Nashville SC vs. Indy Eleven

Nashville SC dropped its second consecutive game in all competitions and lost at home for the first time with a 2-0 defeat against Indy Eleven. Here’s how the Speedway Soccer Pod broke down the performance Tuesday night.


Gary Smith – 5.0: His team looked void of ideas, had no real pace through the center, and were predictable in the final third. The players he brought on were positive, but his decision to take off Woodberry instead of James was surprising. A night to forget.
Matt Pickens – 5.5: A mixed bag. Made a Save-Of-The-Week level stop, only to see Indy score off the resulting corner. Let in a howler for Indy’s second. He’ll want that one back.
London Woodberry – 7.0: One of the few who had a decent night. Made strong runs down the right flank and provided effective service in the final third. However, his poor marking on a corner kick lead to Indy’s first goal. Surprised to see him taken off in the 60th minute.
Bradley Bourgeois – 5.0: Let Braun get behind him for Indy’s second goal, and missed another header from close range in second half stoppage time. He’s had 13 shots on the season, almost all of them from very close range. He’s only put 3 on target and hasn’t scored one. Sooner or later, he’s going to have to come up with some end product.
Liam Doyle – 5.0: Not as culpable as Bourgeois for Indy’s second goal, but still slow to react and didn’t recognize Braun’s run in behind. His passing wasn’t as effective as usual, and didn’t add a ton to Nashville’s second half push for a goal.
Ryan James – 6.0: Worked hard, but his end product wasn’t there. Surprised he stayed on when Woodberry was taken off.
Matt LaGrassa – 5.0: Lost his man on the corner for Indy’s first goal. Provided some decent service into the box, but lacked ideas to break Indy down in the second half. Replaced by Mensah in the 68th minute.
Michael Reed – 6.0: Worked hard, passed efficiently, created three chances and took a few shot. Like the rest of the team, he defaulted to passing the ball out to the wings for a cross instead of trying to find any space through the middle.
Bolu Akinyode – 5.5: Completed 93 percent of his passing, but there are times when he has to be more aggressive. Last night was one of those times. Like Reed, he defaulted to passing out to the wings, instead of looking for other more effective options. Needs to take more shots.
Ish Jome – 5.0: Below par. Had chances to take on a defender 1v1 and passed the ball off instead. Deservedly taken off at halftime.
Lebo Moloto – 6.5: Another player who comes away with some credit. Nashville’s only consistent threat, creating seven chances. Too often, though, he passed the ball off to a teammate instead of taking the shot himself. Needs to be more selfish in games like that.
Brandon Allen – 5.0: Pretty invisible. Touched the ball three times in Indy’s box. Only took three shots, one of which was a hopeful effort from distance, and the other two were snatched at. In what’s becoming a recurring trend, lack of pace really limited his effectiveness.
Alan Winn – 7.0: Replaced Jome at halftime and brought a spark to the Boys In Gold (who were actually wearing navy). Had a fantastic header cleared off the line at the far post. Created three chances and connected really well with Washington on the left.
Taylor Washington – 7.0: Ran himself into the ground, and overlapped really well, often opening up space for Winn. His final ball into the box wasn’t always on, though.
Ropapa Mensah – 6.5: Came on with 22 minutes left and brought pace to the team, but wasn’t incredibly effective. Tried to connect with Moloto and James, but his ideas didn’t always come off and only managed one shot.

Nashville Player Ratings vs. Mississippi Brilla

With Nashville SC’s 3-1 win against Mississippi Brilla Wednesday night in the U.S. Open Cup, the guys at Speedway Soccer once again gave their ratings on  how they think the team performed.

How do you think the team performed, and who was your man of the match? Let us know by tagging us on Twitter @GoldenGoalNash or @SoccerSpeedway to let your voice be heard.

Ratings are on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best. For our purposes, 6 will function as an average grade. Players introduced after the 80th minute get a grade of “N/A”.

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Manager 7.0:  Coach Smith sent out a strong side that should have killed off the game in the first half. Inverted his wingers after the break, which largely took Washington and Shroot out of the game. A slow start to the half saw Brilla get back into the game, but the superior talent of Nashville’s squad became evident late on.
Cochran – 7.0:  A bit of a mixed night. Was a bit hesitant in the first half and too slow to come off his line and claim the ball a few times. Nothing he could have done to prevent Brilla’s goal, and made a couple crucial saves in the second half to prevent an equalizer. A very reliable backup to Pickens.
James – 7.5:  Had acres of space on the right flank, and exploited it well. Connected really well with Shroot and Hume. Beaten a little too easily in the air on Matsoso’s goal, but otherwise solid in defense.
Woodberry – 9.0:  Showed the fans what they’d been missing the past few weeks. Strong in defense, and is a joy to watch on the ball. Completed 91 percent of his passes, many of which were quite ambitious. Bent his freekick beautifully around the wall, giving Bell no chance at the far post. Everything he does looks effortless.
Doyle – 8.0:  Typically strong on the ball, and loves to hit a 40 yard pass on a rope. Found Hume in the air several times, leading to some good chances for Nashville. Made some important clearances off of Brilla set pieces.
Davis – 7.0:  Has started every match so far for Nashville, and looked a bit tired. Let Kirchoff get behind him far too easily for Brilla’s goal, and was slow to react on a couple of occasions. Not a bad showing, but below what we’ve come to expect from him. Came off for Jome in the 63rd minute.
Shroot – 9.0:  Nashville’s best player on the night. Was dominant on the right wing in the first half. His touch is sublime, and he makes beating defenders look effortless. Very ambitious in his passing (completed 92 percent) and sees space in ways that others don’t. Went missing after the break a bit, mostly due to being switched to the left, but eventually wound up on the right wing and looked much more comfortable. Took his goal beautifully, and hopefully it will be the first of many.
Hughes – 7.5:  Very industrious, mostly efficient with the ball, but didn’t tackle as well as the midfield role requires. Still, he connected well with Hume and Shroot, and had completed 87 percent of his passes. All in all a pretty good night.
Akinyode – 8.0:  Surprised to see him go the full 90 with so many games coming quickly, but he was pretty crucial to the gameplan. Doesn’t give away possession needlessly, and helped Nashville close out the game late in the second half. Had a header from a set piece that he’d love to have back.
Washington – 7.5:  A fairly average performance by his standards. Kept the ball well, got up and down the line industriously, and covered for Davis in defense a few times. Had a breakaway late in the first half where he turned and passed the ball back, when he could have beaten the last defender for pace and been through on goal.
Hume – 8.5:  Followed up his two-goal performance in the 2nd round with another solid showing. Could have scored the opener, but opted to pass to Allen and get the assist instead. Used his size really well to hold off defenders, and his ball control is much better than you’d expect for a player of his size. Beat his man multiple times, either creating a chance for Nashville or drawing a free kick in a dangerous spot. He’s really in a great run of form, and it couldn’t come at a better time. Replaced by Mensah after 85 minutes.
Allen – 7.0:  Opened his account 19 minutes into his Nashville career, tapping into an empty net after Hume did well to set him up. Saw a pretty average penalty saved 5 minutes later, and really faded as the game went on. Lacked sharpness and match fitness, as is to be expected. Replaced by LaGrassa after 63 minutes.
LaGrassa – 7.5:  Replaced Allen in the 63rd minute, and played underneath Hume as a sort of #10. Gave the Boys in Gold more of a presence in midfield, and help to close out the game.
Jome – 6.5:  Replaced Davis in the 63rd minute. Had some good moments, and is definitely an above-average athlete. Looked a bit hesitant on the ball though, and will undoubtedly get more settled in as time goes on.
Mensah – N/A.  Replaced Hume in the 85th minute, and immediately stretched the field. Attacked the defense well and set up Hume for Nashville’s third goal. A strong cameo from the young Ghanaian.