LEESBURG, VA - For the first time in their USL history, Nashville SC are top of the table, thanks to a comfortable _ - _ win over Loudoun United.
Head coach Gary Smith rolled out an aggressive 4-2-3-1 formation, playing Taylor Washington and Ropapa Mensah on the wings with Lebo Moloto as the primary creator.
Nashville looked in control from the outset, despite never controlling the majority of possession. The visitors were able to limit Loudoun's effectiveness in the final third and were devastating on the break, creating plenty of quality chances in the first half.
Daniel Ríos scored his 19th goal of the campaign with one of the easier finishes of his career. Mensah made a good run down the right before crossing to a wide open Ríos, who tapped into an empty net from five yards out.
In the second half it was more of the same from Nashville and Mensah, who caused all kinds of problems for Loudoun defenders with the ball at his feet. Just minutes after setting up Ríos for a header off the post, the young Ghanaian drove a low shot across the face of goal and in at the far post to give Nashville a 2-0 lead. It was Mensah's fifth goal of the season, tying him with Cameron Lancaster for Nashville's second top scorer in league play.
Derrick Jones made his return from injury for Nashville, coming on in the 82nd minute for his first minutes in 122 days. The midfielder suffered a serious injury against Charleston in May and has worked his way back to fitness just in time for the final stretch of the season.
Nashville have next week off before welcoming 6th placed Louisville City to First Tennessee Park on Tuesday, October 8th.