Preview: Nashville SC vs Indy Eleven

Updated: Jul 27, 2019

Ten days after defeating Memphis, Nashville SC is back in action, taking on Indy Eleven in their first match at Nissan Stadium this season. Here's what we're looking for in this match.

NASHVILLE SC


Ten days after adding Jimmy Ockford on loan from San Jose Earthquakes, fifth placed Nashville again strengthened their backline, bringing in former USL Defender of the Year Forrest Lasso on loan from FC Cincinnati. The moves will go a long way to strengthening up Nashville's defense, which has conceded a goal per game this season.

Head coach Gary Smith reverted to a 4-2-3-1 formation in Memphis, having used a 3-4-1-2 for the previous six contests. On a Nissan Stadium playing surface that offers plenty of width and will see the ball move quickly, I expect him to stick with the system, giving Alan Winn and Ropapa Mensah freedom to get behind Indy's wingbacks.


"They’re consistent defensively," says Winn. "They’re locked down with that 352, and they’re very good at what they do, and they know they have their game plan. Our job is to break them down and see what happens going forward and score a lot of goals.”


Despite having trained with the team just once, Forrest Lasso should slot in as the left centerback. He's fit and has been in training with Cincinnati all year, and will bring a phyiscal presence to the backline that compliments Ockford's mobility. In midfield, Bolu Akinyode and Vinnie Vermeer seem likely to continue their partnership, after both starting against Memphis. Leading the line is Daniel Ríos, whose 12 goals have him second in the Golden Boot race.


With the second-highest scoring attack in the East going up against the best defense in the league, Nashville will have to make the most of the chances they get. This will be a match where a single missed opportunity could have huge ramifications on the final result.


INJURY REPORT


OUT: Derrick Jones (M) - ankle

INDY ELEVEN


After a somewhat slow start to the season, Indy sits in third place and boasts one of the best defenses in the lead. Their 12 goals allowed is the fewest in all USL, and although their attack hasn't been as prolific as expected before the season, they're averaging 1.6 goals per game.

"They’re a good footballing side," said Gary Smith. "They’ve got some terrific players in their team, and we’re very, very respectful of what they represent."


Defensively, Irishman Paddy Barrett has been a standout, playing 15 matches and leading the side in clearances. Mitchell Osmond got his chance when Neveal Hackshaw left on international duty, and has fought hard to keep his place in the side, with his ability to pass the ball out of the back playing a key role in Indy's attack.


Midfield has been frustrating for Indy. Head coach Martin Rennie has shifted Tyler Pasher into a more central role to try and create chances, and he's been an improvement, but connecting with the forwards has still been a struggle.


Thomas Enevoldsen was Indy's marquee offseason signing, and although he hasn't been quite at the elite level, he's scored five goals and assisted two more. Dane Kelly, the all-time leading scorer in USL history, was used as an impact substitute against Loudon last week, allowing Alioune Diakhate to get the start. The young Senegalese striker is a pacier option, and is able to run the channels really well and stretch the defense.

QUOTES


Full video of interviews with Gary Smith, Alan Winn, Taylor Washington, Jimmy Ockford and Forrest Lasso can be found here.

PREDICTIONS


Ben Wright

Score: Nashville 2 - 1 Indy

Scorers: Daniel Ríos, Lebo Moloto

MOTM: Lebo Moloto

Bold Prediction: Indy outpossesses Nashville, but Nashville hit them twice on the counter to get all three points.


John Sloop

Score: Nashville 2 - 1 Indy

Scorer: Daniel Ríos (x2)

MOTM: Daniel Ríos

Bold Prediction: Nashville takes twice as many shots on goal as Indy.


Jonathan Slape

Score: Nashville 2 - 1 Indy

Scorer: Daniel Ríos, Ropapa Mensah

MOTM: Daniel Ríos

Bold Prediction: Nashville goes up early but is pegged back at the start of the second half. Mensah gets the winner late.


Andy Simmons

Score: Nashville 1 - 1 Indy

Scorer: Alan Winn

MOTM: Alan Winn

Bold Prediction: Winn scores a late equalizer to rescue a point.

Have a prediction for this week's match? Vote in our Fearless Forecast!


MATCH INFO

Date: Saturday, 07/27/19

Time: 7:00pm CST

Place: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee

TV: MyTV30

Stream: ESPN+

Radio: 94.9 Game 2 (English), 97.6 El Jefe (Spanish)

Forecast: 91°/67°. Mostly sunny. 10% chance of rain. 48% humidity.


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