Nashville SC coach Gary Smith admits he has no idea how tomorrow’s USL season opener against reigning league champions Louisville City FC will go. He’s not even sure how the entire campaign will pan out.
One thing he is sure of though, is that the supporters and fans of Nashville SC can be proud of the team that will go out there each and every week to give it their all.
“Where we’ll be, what position, how many games we win or lose, I don’t know the answers to that. There will be a lot of factors that determine that, in every team. There’s all of sorts of factors that are out of my control. What I can tell the fans is that this is a team they can be proud of, be excited to watch, and they can look forward to every home game,” said Smith.
There’s been a certain buzz in the air around practice this week. The players and coaches can feel it, as they approach uncharted territory the weekend where points can either be picked up or dropped.
“It’s one of those things where, the weeks have gone quick. You want them to go quick when you have three points on the line,” said defender Liam Doyle.
“This Saturday, it starts for real. I think we’ve been ready for that for awhile.”
Smith, of course, is no stranger to opening season weekends.
Even with a brand new team, his philosophies and how he approaches a new season remain true.
“The fact that we are a brand new group has brought up one or two little issues I haven’t encountered. The reality is, during the preseason, you’re building a good, physical foundation, and preparing the lads for a long season,” said Smith.
“You’re also trying to get them into some sort of form and confidence about their play. With regards to the three qualities I’ve just mentioned, we’re in a good place. The challenge for every team is, can you get into a rythmn quickly? But, every team that’s kicking off this weekend will feel the exact same way. We’ve prepared well, and done as much as we can.”
Match preview: As mentioned, Louisville City are the defending USL champions from last season with 62 points in the regular season, and look to be one of the favorites again this year. The club returns 10 of last year’s 11 starters, including captain Paolo DelPiccolo, keeper Greg Ranjitsingh, defender Kyle Smith and striker George Davis IV.
“They are a very tough nut to crack. They have some good qualities in that group, and it will be a really tough challenge. If you’re going to do well, in any league, you’ve got to play the best teams at some point. We have one of the stiffest teams in our opening game. We’re ready for that,” said Smith.
615 Prediction: 2-0 Louisville City FC.
This game is a great opening test for the Boys in Gold, but the caliber of opponent who has the silverware in their corner, is hungry for a repeat and looking to get off to a fast start might be too much to handle for them.
Kickoff for the match is slated for 2 p.m. CT. Fans not traveling to Louisville can tune in to MyTV30 to watch the match.