By Andy Simmons (@Andysimmons615), staff writer.
Welcome to the first player ratings for Nashville SC's inaugural MLS season. If you're a first time reader of our player ratings, it's fairly simple. Each member of the Speedway Soccer crew gives each player that saw the pitch a rating based on their match performance. Below is a quick guideline of our evaluation process.
A rating of 6 denotes and average performance. Each player starts out with a 6 and their performance either adds or subtracts from that rating.
Scores are determined after re-watching the match and looking at the stats, and are the averaged total of each Speedway member's ratings.
Joe Willis - 6.0: Unfortunately, did not record a save on the night and let in two goals. Have to believe better days are ahead for him (and hopefully ones where he's not making saves at midfield.)
Daniel Lovitz - 6.5: Had some strong tackles on the wing dealing with Atlanta's fierce attack. He'll definitely be an asset for this side.
Dave Romney - 7.2: Excellent work by Romney with his positioning and trying to cut off the Atlanta attack. He made sure there were no easy touches and space for Josef Martinez.
Walker Zimmerman - 8.2: Deservingly rewarded the MOTM by the Nashville SC fans on their Twitter page, scoring the first goal in the club's MLS history on a set piece, while also playing a major role in holding up the Atlanta attack.
Eric Miller - 5.5: Was a part of a mix up that led to Ezequiel Barco’s goal, giving Barco too much space while not closing him down. A costly mistake.
Aníbal Godoy - 7.0: All aboard the Godoy hype train! Godoy was fantastic with his ability to win balls in the middle of the park, and also wasn’t afraid to charge forward when needed. Expect him to be a problem for teams in the middle of the park if he can stay healthy.
Dax McCarty - 6.9: McCarty was a consistent presence as well in the middle, making some strong tackles and distributing his passes well. Look for the duo with him and Godoy to continue to improve as the season rolls along.
Randall Leal - 6.7: Many were expecting Leal to make an instant impact in his debut, which wasn't necessarily the case. Seemed to get nervous on Nashville’s first real chance at goal and squandered his shot. However, he's still young and is adjusting to this league. You have to believe better days are ahead for the potentially dynamic play maker.
Hany Muhktar - 7.2: Muhktar lived up to the billing in his debut as Nashville's DP, providing the assist on the set piece for Zimmerman's goal. His movement off the ball was wonderful. The game slows down when he has the ball and he dictates the run of play. It's going to be a joy watching him
David Accam - 6.7: A little too indecisive with his play at times, but was not afraid to take on defenders. Very dangerous with his runs on the wing, and probably should have scored on Badji’s low cross that he was inches away from.
Dominique Badji - 6: Badji's debut up top could have gone a bit better, as he was invisible at times. That being said, he did provide that great low cross to Accam that was aforementioned. We'll need to see some better off-the-ball movement and runs from the striker if he's going to be Nashville's point of attack.
Alan Winn - 6.7: The USL standout from last year's squad took on defenders with vigor, including on his infamous nutmeg. He was easily the best attacker for Nashville when he came on. Perhaps a sign of things to come?
Abu Danladi - 6.5: Like-for-like swap with Badji who saw some action, but didn't make a noticable impact.
Daniel Ríos - 6.2: Last year's leading goal scorer didn’t make much of an impact after coming on as a late sub, but you have to believe he'll get more opportunities.
Gary Smith - 6.7: Smith had a solid game plan with his high-pressing squad. He made the necessary subs in the second half to try and get back into the contest. Overall, an encouraging debut for his side that probably deserved a point. We’ll see if they can replicate that performance going cross country at a very tough venue in Providence Park