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Nashville Beats Indy Eleven at Nissan Stadium

Daniel Rios of Nashville SC[Photo courtesy of nashvillesc.com]

It has been a dream season for Daniel Ríos and Nashville SC, so of course Nashville’s star forward scored the first goal in the club’s Nissan Stadium history. A give-and-go between Ríos and captain Michael Reed resulted in Ríos’ 13th goal of the season. He’s Nashville’s leading scorer, the USL Championship Eastern Conference’s leading scorer and the second-highest scorer in the league.

Ríos’ goal in the 24’ minute was the first for Nashville in three matches at Nissan after the venue played host to two nil-nil draws last season.

In the 42’ minute, forward Alan Winn doubled the lead on swerving run into the box. It was his second of the year in USL Championship play, while midfielder Lebo Moloto, who played him the ball in space, added his team-leading 7th assist on Winn’s goal.

Nashville SC keeper Matt Pickens was tested throughout the match. The MLS veteran made multiple highlight reel saves to keep his sixth clean sheet of the season. Pickens was credited with four saves, but his best came early in the second half when he made a quick reaction save to slap a shot off the line from Indy Eleven captain Paddy Barrett.

Overall, it was the eighth clean sheet of the season for the Nashville defense and the first win in club history over Indy Eleven.

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Here are three takeaways from the huge win.

1) Curse Broken

It lasted two full matches plus 24 minutes, but Daniel Ríos broke the scoreless streak for Nashville SC at Nissan Stadium. The upcoming home for Nashville SC in Major League Soccer had seen two nil-nil draws played by Nashville SC last season, leaving the Boys in Gold still searching for their first goal at Nissan.

It made sense for it to come off the boot of Daniel Ríos, who was named Nashville SC’s first MLS player back in November of 2018 and has piled up goals in his first season. The interplay between Ríos and Michael Reed in the build-up to the goal was beautiful, and it resulted in an easy strike to break the streak.

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2) New Look Defense Looks Legit

Nashville newcomers Jimmy Ockford and Forrest Lasso didn’t look like newcomers in each’s first home match. The two centerbacks were in sync all night to lock down the clean sheet. That, paired with Ken Tribbett’s return to the field as a second half substitute, was exactly what the doctor ordered for Nashville’s defense.

A unit that struggled following the injury to Tribbett in June looked refreshed in its second straight clean sheet, looking more like the defense that Nashville SC sported much of last season. This version of the NSC backline will be tough to break for any team the remainder of the USL Championship season.

3) A Big Crowd Sees Victory

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It was billed as a “Preview at Nissan Stadium,” and the fifth-largest crowd to see a USL Championship match this season was treated to a win on Saturday night. The 13,047 filled both sides of the lower bowl at Nissan Stadium while the supporters filed into the North endzone, accompanied with lights and smoke, giving Nissan the feel of MLS.

The crowds will only get bigger for Major League Soccer in 2020, but Saturday night was impressive for Nashville SC and the Music City both on and off the field.

Up Next

Nashville SC will have a normal week as it prepares for a one-match roadtrip to Swope Park Rangers in Kansas City next Saturday, August 3. Swope Park sits near the bottom of the Eastern Conference table and is a team that Nashville SC already beat this season 5-1 at First Tennessee Park.

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