In Nashville Soccer

NASHVILLE — Playoff-bound Nashville SC (7W-7L-8D, 1.32 ppg.) saw its nine-match home unbeaten streak come to an end in a 1-0 loss to FC Dallas (9W-5L-7D, 1.62 ppg.) on Wednesday night at Nissan Stadium. It was Dallas’ first victory in a four-match season series that the Boys in Gold got the best of with a 2W-1L-1D record.

Nashville’s first loss at home since the team’s Major League Soccer debut on Feb. 29 against Atlanta United also ended its six-match scoring streak.

With Sunday’s MLS Decision Day 2020 presented by AT&T on the horizon, Head Coach Gary Smith decided to make four changes from Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Chicago Fire FC. Nashville now sits in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, level on points per game with the New York Red Bulls but behind on the wins tiebreaker.

Maestro Godoy: Midfielder Aníbal Godoy held down the center of the field with aplomb against Dallas. His stability was crucial in Nashville holding 55.5% of the ball in the match. In addition, he made 10 recoveries, five interceptions, two tackles, one key pass, one dribble and one defense-splitting ball to Dan Lovitz in the 65th minute that was slightly too far ahead of the left-back to redirect into the center of the box. He even won a match-high five fouls on the night, showing how good he was with the ball at his feet.

Zimmerman Impressive Against Former Club: Walker Zimmerman solidified his case for MLS Defender of the Year with his performance against his first MLS team. He made seven recoveries, one clearance, one interception and one tackle on the defensive end. He even completed a dribble and had two shots.

Willis Shows Quality: Despite not being able to extend his shutouts to 10 on the season, Joe Willis, who currently leads all MLS goalkeepers with nine clean sheets still put on the performance fans have come to expect from him this season. He made five saves, including two difficult ones in quick succession in the first half. The first came in the 16th minute when he dove low to his left to deny Andrés Ricaurte, and the second occurred when Willis reacted to save a point-blank header from 17-year-old striker Ricardo Pepi.

Playoff Scenarios: Nashville currently sits in eighth place in the Eastern Conference going into Sunday’s Decision Day, presented by AT&T. The club can only finish in sixth, seventh or eighth place in the standings, and will require a win, a two-goal difference, and help from other results around the league to bypass the play-in round and face the third-seeded team in the standings.

Match Timeline 

DAL – Ryan Hollingshead, 19th minute: Hollingshead latches onto an over-the-top through ball down the left wing, dribbles into the box, and loses the ball to Walker Zimmerman on a last-ditch tackle. The ball then falls back to Hollingshead’s feet, where he slots it into the back of the net.


  • Nashville SC is 2W-1L-1D against FC Dallas this season. Tonight’s match was the final meeting between the two teams in the 2020 regular season. Tonight’s result marks Nashville’s first defeat to a Texan team
  • Nashville’s lineup saw four changes from last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Chicago Fire FC
  • Winger Handwalla Bwana made his Nashville debut when he entered the match for Randall Leal in the 70th minute. Bwana was acquired from Seattle Sounders FC on October 21st in exchange for Jimmy Medranda and GAM.
  • Aníbal Godoy led all players with five fouls won in the game
  • Center-back Jack Maher made his second-ever start in MLS tonight against Dallas. He exited the match in the 28th minute due to injury
  • Jhonder Cádiz played his first complete half of the season; he made his debut on a 3-1 win over Houston Dynamo on Oct. 14
  • Matt LaGrassa made his first start since that win at Dynamo on Oct. 14
  • Walker Zimmerman faced his former club. Zimmerman spent five seasons from 2013-2017 with FC Dallas, making 89 appearances. He won the Supporters’ Shield with Dallas in 2016, starting in all of his 30 appearances that season. Dax McCarty, who was available off the bench tonight, made 93 appearances in five seasons from 2006-2010 with FC Dallas
  • McCarty and David Ferreira, the father of Dallas winger Jesús Ferreira, lost to Nashville Head Coach Gary Smith’s Colorado Rapids in the 2010 MLS Cup Final with FC Dallas
  • With tonight’s home finale, Nashville SC finished the season with a home record 4W-2L-2D. With that record, Head Coach Gary Smith has never lost more than two home MLS regular season matches in a season in his career.

Up Next
Nashville SC visits Orlando City SC on Sunday, Nov. 8. The match kicks off at 2:30 p.m. CT from Exploria Stadium and will be broadcast live on CW58, ESPN 94.9 and El Jefe.

Nashville SC (7W-7L-8D, 1.32 ppg.) vs. FC Dallas (9W-5L-7D, 1.62 ppg.)
Nov. 4, 2020 — Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tenn.

Final Score

Scoring Summary
DAL: Hollingshead, 19

DAL: Hollingshead (caution), 90+2’

NSH: Joe Willis; Dan Lovitz, Dave Romney, Walker Zimmerman, Jack Maher (Jalil Anibaba, 28’), Eric Miller; Tah Brian Anunga (Derrick Jones, 77’), Aníbal Godoy, Matt LaGrassa (Alex Muyl, 69’); Randall Leal (Handwalla Bwana, 70’), Daniel Ríos (Jhonder Cádiz, HT)

Unused Substitutes: Elliot Panicco, Alistair Johnston, Taylor Washington, Dax McCarty

TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Leal, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Romney, 2); FOULS: 17 (Anunga, 5); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 5; POSSESSION: 55.5%

DAL: Jimmy Maurer; Bryan Reynolds, Matt Hedges, Bressan, John Nelson; Thiago Santos (Reto Ziegler 84’), Andrés Ricaurte, Michael Barrios, Jesús Ferreira (Tanner Tessmann, 71’), Ryan Hollingshead; Ricardo Pepi (Santiago Mosquera, 80’)

Unused Substitutes: Phelipe, Edwin Munjoma, Calum Montgomery, Brandon Servania, Dante Sealy, Ema Twumasi


Referee: Marcos de Oliviera
Assistant Referees: Andrew Bigelow and Cory Richardson
Fourth Official: Robert Sibiga
VAR: Drew Fischer
Weather: Clear

Statistics are unofficial.


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