At long last, Nashville SC is returning home to First Tennessee Park after an extensive road trip.
The Boys in Gold are back home this Mother’s Day to take on a familiar foe in Louisville City FC. Last time these two met, it was Nashville’s first ever game in the USL regular season, losing to the defending champs 2-0.
But things are different now. Nashville has a bit of experience under its belt through the trials and tribulations experienced through this three-game road stint.
The opponent: Louisville City has been on an absolute tear in this early season. Before its first loss of the season last week against Indy Eleven, the defending USL champions had won five of their first six games. The only blemish during that stretch was a 1-1 draw against Atlanta United 2. They’re currently one point behind Eastern Conference leaders FC Cincinnati, and boost one of the top goal scorers in the league so far in Cameron Lancaster (four goals).
What does Nashville need to do? Continuous pressure on goal would be a great way for Nashville to come away with points and possibly hand Louisville its second-consecutive loss. Ropapa Mensah’s goal last week against New York Red Bulls II came because the forwards made the Red Bulls defense make a mistake from the pressure exerted on them. If Nashville is relentless in pursuing the ball while Louisville tries to prepare an attack from the back line, good things can and will happen.
Here’s an obvious one, but Matt Pickens must continue to do Matt Pickens things. He’s currently tied with four other goalkeepers for the second most shutouts this season with four, and has been one of the reasons Nashville has picked up points in five of its last six contests. He’ll once again need to be at his best between the posts in order to ward off this effective Louisville offense which has recorded 115 shots so far.
Prediction: 1-1 Draw
Nashville is a different team since the first meeting about two months ago, and the home atmosphere has already shown how it can be a factor for visiting teams. However, Louisville will still have a sour taste in its mouth from dropping its first game of the season. I expect a competitive back-and-forth between these two, with both sides just missing out on collecting all three points.
El Nashico: Nashville’s first local derby will take place this Wednesday at Vanderbilt Stadium when Nashville SC faces NPSL side Inter Nashville. Inter beat Charlotte Eagles 6-1 in its first round matchup, and now the game is drawing plenty of attention from Middle Tennessee soccer fanatics.
Turn up, the radio: Nashville SC and Nashville’s ESPN radio affiliate The Game have announced a partnership, where 94.9 will have an English broadcast for at least 20 games. The first broadcast will be this Sunday, and will include a pre and postgame match. The announcement was made Thursday morning during 102.5 The Game’s morning show, Morning Drive.
“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Nashville SC,” said Cromwell Radio market manager Jana Hampton in a press release.
“As a locally owned radio group, we are focused on serving the community where we live and work and we strive to give listeners Nashville’s Best Sports Talk
each day. Aligning with Nashville SC helps us deliver on those objectives. It’s a great fit.”
Roadies bringing the noise at special event: The Roadies support group will be bringing the noise for two days in a row this weekend. In addition to their normal march and support to First Tennessee Park Saturday, the group will also be out and about Saturday to support Soccer for the Nations. Soccer for the Nations is a support group that gives refugee children a chance to come together and play the beautiful game.
Additional information can be found on the group’s Facebook page event here.