Nashville SC shocks Seattle Sounders on MLS opening day

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Aníbal Godoy scored the only goal of the game at Lumen Field as Nashville SC claimed a 1-0 victory away from home on the opening fixture of the season against the Seattle Sounders.

The sides had previously never played each other since Nashville entered the competition in 2020, but their move from East to West has seen them match up at last. Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer complimented Nashville, calling them an “interesting” inclusion to MLS.

“Gary [Smith] has done a great job. The way they play and the amount of draws they had last year and the year before, and their success, has always been based around being solid defensively,” Schmetzer said. “They took some wind out of our sails, the tempo wasn’t fast tonight — but that’s how they play. Credit to him, that’s their game plan and it worked.”

Nashville had the best chance to take the lead midway through the first half through Hany Mukhtar, but found Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei in good form.

After the match, Frei said, “Sometimes when opponents have a chance and we dodge a bullet and make a save, it’s almost like the same thing happens when you face corners. Mentally, you kind of space out a little bit. Maybe it was a moment where we needed to boot the ball up the field for a moment, so we could re-group. We were trying to clear the ball, and were a bit disorganized… It’s one of those situations where you feel that pressure mounting, dodge one and then mentally get vulnerable to it and switch off. That’s what happened.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Cristian Roldan called Nashville an “organized team.”

“They have three workhorses in the middle that shift from side to side. The back four cover a lot of distance,” Roldan said. “They’re a cohesive group that plays well in the low block. We saw that today. We didn’t get too many opportunities to run in behind the back line. It’s always frustrating to play against a team like that. I don’t think we played very well. I felt we were lacking a little bit today.”

Having started on the bench, Nicholas Lodeiro came on at half time, but even their talisman struggled to break down the stubborn defense of Nashville. With Raul Ruidiaz also out with injury, Sounders fans will be worried about where their goals are going to come from with Jordan Morris and Fredy Montero both unable to find the net.

It was a close game throughout and eventually the away pressure told as Godoy tapped in with ten minutes remaining to leave Lumen Field stunned after their 5-0 win against Motagua in midweek.

The Sounders will look to bounce back against Real Salt Lake next weekend.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Jane Gershovich/Sounders FC Communications.