Wild first half sees Nashville SC draw with New York

Looking for points for their hopes of a late playoff push, Nashville SC was in dire need of a victory at home against New York Red Bulls II at First Tennessee Park.

However, the Boys in Gold could only muster a 1-1 draw in a match that saw an action-packed first half, but neither team could create any magic in the ensuing second half to separate themselves.

The first half might have been one of the wildest Nashville fans have witnessed all season. A careless mistake by Justin Davis to not clear the ball in the 5th minute out of Nashville’s own box led to a New York goal. Jared Stroud collected the dispossessed ball and put in a low cross, which Amando Moreno was able to capitalize on.

The Red Bulls almost doubled their delight a few minutes later, when a penalty was called on a questionable foul in the box from Taylor Washington.

Pickens was easily able to read the direction of Tom Barlow’s low shot to the left, however, and preserved the one-goal deficit.

The Red Bulls did themselves no favors moving forward. A very malicious slide tackle from Jose Aguinaga on Alan Winn led to a red card.

The Boys in Gold were able to capitalize on the opportunity, with the captain Michael Reed burying a low free kick in the 26th minute.

The two teams had their fair share of chances to close out the first half, but neither could really convert and separate themselves from one another.

Nashville came dangerously close to taking the lead in the 64th minute. Ropapa Mensah was able to beat a defender on the line near the goal. As he crossed the ball in, it took an awkward deflection off a Red Bull and was heading in toward goal. Hassan Ndam, despite banging it off the cross bar, was able to clear the ball off the line to save the Red Bulls from going down a goal.

Nashville SC also had a chance to win on a last second corner on a Justin Davis bicycle from a Michael Reed corner, but he was called offside.

The draw puts Nashville SC level with North Carolina FC and Ottawa Fury on points with 44, but both teams have the edge over the Boys in Gold in the standings due to them having more wins. It is also the final fixture in the month of September, a month in which Nashville was only able to produce one victory in six contests. New York remains one point behind Nashville with 43 points.

Nashville hopes to continue its push for the playoffs next Saturday at Richmond Kickers, with kickoff slated for 6 p.m.

Gallery: Nashville SC vs. Richmond Kickers

Nashville SC bounced back from a loss against Bethlehem Steel Saturday with an emphatic 4-0 victory against Richmond Tuesday. The occasion was the most goals Nashville SC has scored in a single contest, and the first time a Nashville player has scored multiple goals in a contest since vs. Louisville City May 13, when Tucker Hume notched a brace for the Boys in Gold.

Check out our photos from the match. All photos were by Golden Goal’s Andy Simmons.

Nashville SC player ratings vs. Louisville City FC

The guys from Speedway Soccer Pod are back with their player ratings. This time, they look back at the 0-0 draw against Louisville City FC.


Matt Pickens – 9.0: Made 5 saves and worked hard all night to organize the defense and shut down one of the league’s best attacks. One of his better performances this year.

Bradley Bourgeois – 8.0: Made his first start since picking up an injury on July 21, and looked solid. Dangerous on set pieces as always, strong in possession, and popped up in key areas to throw off Louisville attackers.
Liam Doyle – 8.5: Another strong performance, possibly his best showing of the year. Accurate passing out of the back and pitched in with a tidy 15 clearances.
Justin Davis – 8.0: Got forward more than any other center back, almost playing as a traditional left back at times. Contributed well to the attack and put in a solid defensive shift.
Michael Reed – 8.5: Covered every blade of grass/turf/dirt on the pitch. His set piece delivery was strong, he pushed the tempo in possession, and made several key ball recoveries. Wasn’t afraid to pull the trigger, but couldn’t keep his shots on target.
Bolu Akinyode – 8.0: Returned to the first choice 11 after starting the Ottawa match on the bench, and didn’t miss a beat. Completed a cool 93 percent of his passes, but was somewhat content to pass sideways and backwards instead of being more aggressive in search of a goal. Still, performed a key role to secure a point on the road against the reigning champions.
Matt LaGrassa – 7.5: Played as a pseudo-10 and put in a good shift. Got in good spots and found space well. Wasn’t able to create as much as he would have liked, but was key to the Boys In Gold’s defensive performance.
Kosuke Kimura – 8.0: A really strong showing from the veteran. Had tons of energy on the right flank and put in some strong service into the box. Replaced by Woodberry after 79 minutes.
Taylor Washington – 7.5: Worked hard on the left wing and made some important defensive contributions. His service into the box was good, but didn’t always make it to his target.
Tucker Hume – 7.5: Another really good showing from Big Bird. Took three shots, with a header from a set piece going just wide of the near post. Set up his teammates for three other shots, including a cutback that Brandon Allen should have finished. Came off for Lebo Moloto after 75 minutes, but shouldn’t come out of the starting XI anytime soon.
Brandon Allen – 6.5: Linked play well for the most part when he got the ball, but was often uninvolved. Only took one shot all night, and put it wide with the far post gaping when he really should have scored. Made way for Ropapa Mensah after 64 minutes.
Ropapa Mensah – 7.0: Replaced Allen with 26 minutes to go, and brought a lot of energy and pace. Caused all kinds of problems around Louisville’s box, and made Nashville look like an attacking threat. Opted to shoot from a really tight angle with both Moloto and LaGrassa wide open and screaming for the ball.
Lebo Moloto – 6.5: Replaced Hume after 75 minutes, and didn’t make a huge impact in his 15 minute shift. A pretty unremarkable outing.
London Woodberry – 7.5: Played the final 11 minutes at right wing back in place of Kosuke Kimura, and was lively. Put a really good ball into the box for Ropapa.
Gary Smith – 7.5: Predicted that the game would be a cage match and it was. Couldn’t continue Nashville’s good run of attacking form, but did really well to keep Louisville off the scoreboard. That’s a good point on the road.

Nashville SC fans enjoy victory at Pastime

Nashville SC’s 1-0 victory against previously unbeaten Pittsburgh Wednesday night was a huge moment for the club, as it put them back into the top eight of the USL Eastern Conference standings and extended the Boys in Gold’s unbeaten streak in the league to five.

Although the game was on the road, there was still plenty of support around the Music City for the game that night. Watch parties congregated at many of the club’s affiliated bars to cheer on Nashville to victory.

One of those bars was Pastime. The official home base of the Roadies, many have frequented this establishment during home games to grab a beverage (or many) and a pregame snack before making the short march to First Tennessee Park to yell and sing for their team.

However, I was curious how things went when the team was out of town. Myself and the Golden Goal fellows decided to head over to Pastime to catch the match and soak up the festivities. Here are some observations I had from our trip last night.

Atmosphere: Although the first half was a bit lethargic, that didn’t damper the spirits of The Roadies in attendance that night. They continued to give words of encouragement through the television screens. The place came alive, as expected, when Brandon Allen scored his goal in the 69th minute. I thoroughly enjoyed the synchronized clapping and chants of “NSC!” during the corner kicks Nashville SC was awarded.

Presentation:  The bar set up all three television monitors above the bar main to have the game on, making it impossible to have a bad seat if you came to watch.

Food: I’ve been on a bit of a health kick lately, so I decided to go with the chicken caesar wrap. However, it didn’t seem like you go wrong with anything on the menu. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re like me and wanted to try and cut a couple of calories, or you want to indulge in all of the mouth-watering appetizers like hot chicken taquitos or pretzel bites.

Service: Our waitress was exceptional with her service, getting us our drinks in a timely manner and checking in with us enough times where it didn’t seem like she was overbearing.

As Nashville SC continues to have games on the road, we’ll continue to try and venture out to other establishments that show their games and give our feedback on them.