Pickens – 8.5: Made four saves, one from a well hit free kick. He held the ball well and didn’t allow rebounds into dangerous areas, and really commanded the back line.
Kimura – 9.0: His best game in a gold kit. Ran up and down the line with incredible energy, especially considering the heat. He was smart on the ball and quick to cut out dangerous passes. He’s really on a good run of form.
Bourgeois – 8.5: Plays with no regard for his own safety, but throws himself in front of shots. Made several crucial blocks and was dominant in the air. Huge props for shutting down one of the best attacks in the league.
Doyle – 8.5: Made a staggering 11 clearances. Passed well from the back as always, and cut out the mistakes he’s often prone to. One of many who had his best game in a gold kit.
Davis – 8.5: A hard working display. Connected well with Washington on the left wing, and contributed a lot defensively. Sometimes floats a cross when it needs to be driven, but that’s probably nit picking in an otherwise solid performance.
LaGrassa – 8.5: We were interested to see how he fit in after some good performances off of the bench, and his pinpoint long passes opened up the Louisville defense. Probably should have had an assist to Taylor Washington early in the match. Moved over to the left after Winn was introduced, and wasn’t phased in the slightest. A very flexible player who consistently contributes. Replaced by Edgar in the 81st minute.
Reed – 9.0: His game can be epitomized with his assist for Moloto’s second goal. Fantastic reading of the game to intercept the ball, precise passing to find Winn in space, made a great run to get into space, and a pinpoint cross to the back post. Defensively, he forced Louisville to bypass the midfield and play direct. Fantastic showing.
Akinyode – 9.0: Completed all 42 passes he attempted (that’s astonishing against this level of opposition), including a beautiful chipped ball over the top to Mensah in space, directly resulting in Nashville’s first goal. He tackled well, moved the ball quickly, and controlled the game for the Boys in Gold. He’s becoming crucial to how this team plays.
Washington – 8.0: Completed 89.5 percent of his passes and got involved in the attack well. Probably should have had a goal after he got on the end of a 45 yard pass from LaGrassa, but put his shot straight at the keeper. Faded a bit in the second half and was replaced by Winn in the 70th minute.
Moloto – 9.5: Dominated the game. Finally started finishing his chances, and took both goals beautifully. His first was a powerful shot from just outside the box, and his second was a diving header placed just inside the near post. Completed 88.9 percent of his passes, and fearlessly ran at the defense. He played with a confidence that we haven’t seen before, and it was incredible to watch. Replaced by James in the 89th minute, and was rewarded with a deserving standing ovation.
Mensah – 9.0: For the second week in a row, he was dominant. Held up the ball with power and consistently found pockets of space to exploit. Was able to isolate defenders, and tormented them with fantastic 1v1 dribbling. Assisted Moloto’s first goal, and otherwise had a fantastic game. Looks like he’s finally getting settled, and has a very high ceiling.
Winn – 8.5: Came on for Washington in the 70th minute and slotted into the right midfield spot. Drifted centrally a lot to get into pockets of space, and took the ball at the defense. Instrumental in Moloto’s second goal, and brought dynamism and an energy that pinned a tired Lou City team back late in the game.
Edgar – N/A: Replaced LaGrassa in the 81st minute, and his arrival saw Nashville switch to a back five. Defended well and sealed the clean sheet.
James – N/A: Replaced Moloto in the 89th minute to see the game out, and dropped into a holding midfield role for the last few minutes.
Gary Smith – 9.0: This was just about the perfect game plan from Coach Gary Smith, who forced Louisville to play much more directly than they would have liked, and figured out how to get Lebo Moloto in good positions. A really complete performance.