After a 1-0 loss to North Carolina FC, Nashville head north to take on defending USL champions Louisville City FC. Here's what to expect from the match.
It wasn't the result Nashville fans were hoping for, but despite a 1-0 loss in North Carolina, the Boys In Gold are still in strong position heading into the back half of the season. Currently in fifth in the East, a win could see them move as high as third.
Head coach Gary Smith changed up his backline against North Carolina, but could bring Justin Davis back into a more central role to partner Bradley Bourgeois and Darnell King in the back. Bolu Akinyode came back into the team against North Carolina, completing 88% of his passes and giving Nashville a solid midfield presence. Matt LaGrassa didn't feature off the bench (the first match this season in which he didn't take part), but he should return to give Nashville more of a forward threat from midfield. Up top, Daniel Ríos and Cameron Lancaster seem like the clear cut options to lead the line, with Lancaster returning to his former team in good form after scoring a league record 26 goals last year.
LOUISVILLE CITY FC
The reigning champs haven't had an ideal start to the season but have fought back into seventh place, just three points behind Nashville. Their attack hasn't been as potent as it typically is, but with Brian Ownby back to full health, they should see a scoring boost.
After struggling with injuries at the 'keeper position, Chris Hubbard has taken over the no. 1 role, starting their last three matches after FC Cincinnati loanee Ben Lundt suffered a season-ending injury. After using a 4-2-3-1 earlier, head coach John Hackworth has settled on a 3-1-4-2 or 3-4-3 formation, with captain Paolo DelPiccolo shielding the backline and allowing Magnus Rasmussen and Nial McCabe to push up. Out wide, Oscar Jimenez leads the team with 55 chances created, and provides some of the most consistent service in USL. Up top, newly-acquired Antoine Hoppenot could get his first chance to start after arriving from Tampa Bay last week.
Louisville play an aggressive, possession based style, taking advantage of their narrow field to limit their opponents options in the final third. They have title aspirations of their own, and will be a tough test for Nashville.
Score: Louisville City 2 - 2 Nashville
Scorers: Cameron Lancaster, Ropapa Mensah
MOTM: Lebo Moloto
Bold Prediction: Nashville opens the scoring before giving up two goals, and Ropapa Mensah scores a late equalizer to rescue a point.
Score: Louisville City 1 - 1 Nashville
Scorer: Cameron Lancaster
MOTM: Cameron Lancaster
Bold Prediction: Nashville makes it through an entire match without a weather delay.
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Date: Saturday, 07/06/19
Time: 6:00pm CST
Place: Louisville Slugger Field, Louisville, Kentucky
Radio: 94.9 Game 2
Forecast: 87°/72°. Scattered thunderstorms. 45% chance of rain.