A second half red card to defender Forrest Lasso turned Nashville SC’s top-of-the-table clash against New York Red Bulls II on its head, resulting in a 2-1 loss for Nashville at First Tennessee Park on Wednesday night. Lasso was shown yellow cards within five minutes of each other midway through the second half, taking off one of Nashville’s best players in its now-ended six match unbeaten streak.
Nashville SC went ahead in the 10’ minute on a corner kick via the head of Ken Tribbett from Lebo Moloto. It was the fourth goal of the season for Tribbett and the ninth assist for Moloto. Much of the rest of the first half was spent defending for Nashville SC and it turned away each New York attack until Red Bulls II finally found a breakthrough just before halftime to equalize.
The sides appeared balanced to start the second half until Lasso was sent off in the 65’ minute. It didn’t take long for Red Bulls II to take advantage, scoring in the 71’ minute off a set piece.
Here are three takeaways from Nashville’s first loss in six weeks.
1) Lasso Loss Stings
Forrest Lasso has been an integral piece to Nashville SC’s backline since his acquisition on loan in late July. His questionable sending off, coupled with head coach Gary Smith’s substitution of Ken Tribbett moments earlier meant that Nashville had to do some reshuffling following the red. New York, the highest scoring team in the Eastern Conference, took immediate advantage by going ahead within five minutes of play restarting following Lasso’s red card.
2) Tribbett Finds the Net Again
Defender turned midfielder Ken Tribbett continued his great offensive play with another goal, giving him four in the USL Championship season. Tribbett notched six last year to lead all defenders, and looks like he could match that offensive output again in 2019. Meanwhile, Moloto’s assist is his ninth of the season to lead the Eastern Conference.
3) Ground to Make Up
With a win, Nashville SC could have moved to first place in the Eastern Conference, jumping New York. Instead, Nashville now sits five points behind first place and is fourth in standings. Nashville still has plenty of opportunities to move up in the standings with matches remaining against second place North Carolina and third place Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Nashville SC will be able to wash the bad taste from the loss out of its mouth quickly as it will stay at home for a Saturday night match against the Charleston Battery, presented by Vanderbilt Health. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.