Image via NashvilleSC.com
Nashville SC (11W-5D-5L) entered last night’s match sitting at #4 in the Eastern Conference with the possibility of sliding into the third spot with a convincing outcome against the Hartford Athletic (4W-4D-15L). Even though Nashville SC has been away from home for a while (46 days to be exact), the team has been on a tear riding a 3 game win streak with three 2-0 wins against the Swope Park Rangers, Indy Eleven, and Memphis 901. To overtake Indy Eleven for the #3 spot in the Eastern Conference, Nashville SC would need to put a complete game together.
That’s exactly what they did. Nashville SC made it the Night of Four in Music City by moving up from the #4 spot in the rankings, by scoring 4 goals which also gives the team a share at #4 in the league in terms of attacking with 41 points, moving from 4 to 5 wins at home this season, Ropapa Mensah getting his 4th goal of the season, and continuing the win streak to 4 games. Also, Daniel Rios once again shares the lead with Solomon Asante of Phoenix Rising FC at the top of the league in scoring with 15 goals this season. While the offense was BOOMING, we can not forget about the lock down defense and stellar goalkeeping by Matt Pickens. Pickens has helped Nashville just set the franchise record this season for longest amount of time without conceding a goal by not allowing a score in over 300+ minutes! This brings Nashville SC to #2 in total number of clean sheets this season with a total of 10. Absolutely incredible.
Prayers up for Nashville SC Captain Michael Reed as he suffered an absolutely devastating and gruesome leg injury in the 4′ minute on a foul by Mads Jorgensen (Hartford Athletic). As Manager Gary Smith alluded to in the post-game press conference, injuries of this severity are obsolete and tough to overcome mentally as a player on the pitch. Major props to Reed for showing nothing but class, despite being in obvious pain.
After the injury Jorgensen was awarded a Red Card and Hartford had to play the remained of the game a man down with only 10 players. Hartford kept the same 4-4-2 formation, but removed the striker position making it a 4-4-1. This made it difficult for the team to produce any kind of beneficial offense, and when you combine that with the roll Nashville SC’s defense has been on, it was a nightmare in the making for Hartford Athletic.
Goals were scored by Tribbett (51′), Rios (56′) , Winn (64′), and Mensah (69′), all leading coach Smith’s 100th win. to In the post game press conference, Tribbett alluded that his play and goal was all for Michael Reed and that the team played soley for him following the injury. The Man of the Match voted by the fans was Michael Reed.
One improvement Nashville SC will need to make as they go into Saturday’s game (8/10/19) against Bethlehem Steel FC is to increase the speed of play. The majority of this game against Hartford Athletic was played at a relatively slow place, and it didn’t appear that the team seemed to be pressing as hard as usual. This is an easy fix as Tribbett stated in the post-game press conference that this team is not complacent and hope to win every game by 4 goals.
It’s an exciting time to be a Nashville SC fan as the team tries to continue to roll on their 4 game win streak, and prep themselves for the final push here going into the end of the season. Come out Saturday at 7 to catch the game!https://thetalksportsmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/img_2476.trim_.mov