FENTON, MO - A week after their best win of the season, Nashville SC were beaten on the road by Saint Louis FC.
Head coach Gary Smith made no changes to the side that beat Tampa Bay 2-1 on the road last week, once again starting Cameron Lancaster up front with Daniel Ríos again out with a groin injury.
Nashville controlled possession throughout the match, but struggled to create anything meaningful in the final third. Saint Louis, on the other hand, attacked well, committing numbers high up the pitch to hit Nashville on the counter and pounce on loose passes or defensive mistakes. In the 77th minute, Russell Cicerone found the breakthrough, gathering the ball outside Nashville's box and easily taking out both Ken Tribbett and Bradley Bourgeois with a simple fake shot, drilling a low shot to Pickens' far post for the winner.
After Lancaster touched the ball just three times in Saint Louis's box all match, Smith made three attacking changes after the goal, bringing on Kharlton Belmar, Alan Winn and Tucker Hume, but it was a case of too little, too late. The forwards were unable to get into the flow of the match and couldn't make an impact in the 10 minutes they were given.
It was hard to tell on the night which side was playing for first place in the East and which side was clawing for one of the final playoff spots. With other top sides in the conference dropping points, it was a massive missed opportunity for Nashville. Instead of going top of the table, they drop to third place, just one point ahead of an Indy Eleven side who have four games in hand.
Nashville SC have next week off before playing Birmingham Legion at First Tennessee Park on Tuesday, September 17.