Nashville SC traveled to New Jersey and won a hard fought point against perennial contenders New York Red Bulls II. Below are our collective evaluations of each player's performance.
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 by looking at the stats and are the averaged total of each Speedway member's ratings.
Players must have been on the pitch for at least 10 minutes to receive a score. Players who come on later than the 80th minute are ineligible for a rating.
Connor Sparrow - 7.5: Handed his first start of the year in place of veteran Matt Pickens, and turned in a great performance. Had one or two shaky moments, but recovered well and denied New York a winner on multiple occasions. Could push for a starting role with more performances like this.
Kosuke Kimura - 6.5: A fairly average performance from the right back. Slow to close down Epps on New York's goal, but otherwise no real lapses.
Ken Tribbett - 7.5: Dealt with NYRB's pressure well for the most part, opting to hit the ball long rather than trying to retain possession. Almost gifted the Red Bulls a winner with a poor backwards header intended for Sparrow, but also set up Ríos for the opening goal. Overall a solid showing.
Liam Doyle - 7.0: Completed an uncharacteristically low 40% of his passes, but Smith's game plan called for him to put the ball over the top and spring the counter. Cut out a few promising attacks and showed up in the right places. A strong defensive performance.
Justin Davis - 6.0: A mixed bag for the veteran. Tied with Akinyode for the most tackles on the team, and had to deal with the majority of New York's attacks (he had 73 touches - the next closest Nashville player had 46). Still, his set piece delivery was mostly poor, and he was largely responsible for New York's equalizer, giving possession right back when he could have taken a second touch before clearing or passing. He'll hope to have a more positive impact if he can earn a spot ahead of Taylor Washington.
Michael Reed © - 7.0: The captain got his first start of the year after recovering from injury, and had a good showing. Covered a lot of ground in the center of the park dealing with New York's press, and made several key defensive interventions. Having him at full health will be a huge boost going forward.
Vinnie Vermeer - 6.0: The young midfielder was a bit of a surprise to start the match, and looked really bright. Put in a high energy shift, tackling hard and looking to get the ball upfield quickly. Picked up a yellow card before coming off with what appeared to be an ankle injury in the 29th minute. Really unfortunate to get hurt, and hopefully it's not a long-term injury.
Lebo Moloto - 7.0: His best performance of the year thus far, largely because of the shift he put in on the defensive side of the ball. Part of a fairly fluid attack, switching between the 10 role and the right. Completed a team high 78% of his passes, and looked bright in the final third. Came off after 65 minutes.
Matt LaGrassa - 8.0: It's hard to imagine a better start to the season than LaGrassa has had. He's been one of Nashville's most influential player, and kept that form up in New Jersey. Hit the post with a well taken half volley, and put a great ball across the face of goal that should have led to a second goal for Nashville. He's turning into an almost undroppable player for Gary Smith.
Kharlton Belmar - 7.5: Dangerous as always. Was a major focal point of Nashville's attack, finding a good bit of space in behind New York's backline. Had a couple times where his final ball into the box was disappointing, but otherwise was solid.
Daniel Ríos - 8.5: Secured the point with a very opportunistic finish. He read the situation really well to get on the ball, set himself up with a fantastic first touch, and took his goal beautifully with a composed finish from a tight angle. Otherwise, played the role of target forward intelligently, holding the ball up and getting his teammates involved in the attack.
Bolu Akinyode - 7.0: Replaced Vermeer in the 29th minute, and put in a strong defensive shift. Didn't have many short passing options against New York's press, but popped up with four tackles and worked hard to earn a point. Could have done better tracking Brian White on NYRB's goal, but otherwise a strong showing.
Alan Winn - 6.5: Came on for Moloto in the 65th minute in his first appearance of the season, and played in a similar role, drifting between the 10 and right midfield spots. Wasn't able to get super involved, but covered a lot of ground and added a threat with his pace.
Cameron Lancaster - 6.0: Replaced Ríos with 14 minutes to go, and didn't get super involved as New York pressed hard for a winner. Only touched the ball three times.
Gary Smith - 7.0: It wasn't pretty, but he sent Nashville out with a clear game plan. Took away New York's options through the center and forced them out wide, as well as giving Nashville clear options on the break. At the end of the season we'll look back on this draw as a strong result.
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