The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

Soccer in Music City

Hunt Smith

Posted on February 23, 2020 15:31

2 users

While the stars will be out for Nashville SC's debut, I wouldn't expect many fireworks.

We are a little less than a week away from Nashville Soccer Club's first-ever game in Major League Soccer (MLS). Although it initially looked like it was going to be a lackluster debut, Nashville has been coming out in droves to buy tickets, forcing the team to open Nissan Stadium to full capacity. The club has attempted to utilize the music industry in order to create a buzz for their inaugural season.

It becomes apparent upon visiting their website that Nashville SC wishes to reel in fans with Nashville's star power, "We're celebrating our MLS debut with Music City star power ahead of kickoff. Come early on February 29 for an on-field performance by Judah and the Lion, National Anthem sung by Charles Esten and Gibson Guitar Riff by Lzzy Hale of Halestorm." The organization has worked extensively with Judah & the Lion, as the homegrown band appears at many of the club's events and has now released a fairly catchy anthem for the team titled "Never Give Up on You." 

Their marketing strategy has successfully put butts in seats for their first game against Atlanta United; however, the on-field product might be a little stale. Entering a year after FC Cincinnati, Nashville's front office had the pleasure of witnessing one of MLS's worst expansion teams of all time. FC Cincinnati's defense was horrendous, allowing 75 goals over the course of the season. Learning from Cincinnati's mistakes, Nashville's front office signed two stellar defensive midfielders, Aníbal Godoy and Dax McCarty, and best XI center back, Walker Zimmerman. Nashville focused on acquiring experienced and reliable defenders that are used to the pace and physicality of MLS. 

However, Nashville SC sacrificed a lethal attack for a solid backline. Nashville filled out their attack with players who have tremendous upsides but a history of unreliability. David Accam, Nashville's pacy winger, hasn't been productive since 2017. Dominique Badji showed great promise with the Colorado Rapids but flamed out after his trade to FC Dallas. Hany Mukhtar, Nashville's lone designated player, is a young German who will need time to adjust to the league. Simply put: Nashville doesn't have enough offensive talent. 

While Nissan Stadium will be packed with fans on Saturday, I wouldn't expect there to be too much noise pollution. I sincerely hope that I am wrong. Perhaps Mukhtar has a hat trick in his debut. Expansion teams always get a boost for their first-ever home game, but I don't expect it to be a high-scoring game. I predict the day ends 1-1 with Joseph Martinez scoring for Atlanta and a Walker Zimmerman scoring on a corner kick for Nashville SC.

Hunt Smith

Posted on February 23, 2020 15:31

Comments

comments powered by Disqus

Welcome back to Cincinnati.com's Friday recap of our top sports headlines and others you might have missed during the work...

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest