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Loons Hit The Skids in Nashville


High hopes and an evenly-matched first half became a big ol’ butt-whoopin’ in a hurry when Loons right back D.J. Taylor was sent off in the 34th minute for a fairly generous red card foul on Nashville winger Jacob Shaffelburg at the top of the box. Nashville’s Hany Mukhtar would miss the free kick attempt off that foul, but it would become clear shortly after that ten players in the Loons lineup wouldn’t work quite in the way it did against Club Puebla. This was the Leagues Cup Quarterfinals, and Nashville SC in their house would be a whole different beast. And, a beast it was. 

In the 39th minute, Mukhtar would find defender Shaq Moore from the right side of the six-yard box and his kick would find the corner of the net, 1-0, boo. Nashville would add some salt to the wound before the half when, in the 44th minute, striker Teal Bunbury would again find the bottom right corner of the net off of another Mukhtar assist. 2-0, team with a dude named Teal. The second half wouldn’t bring the Loons lineup any solace or scoring, and Nashville wasn’t about to relax their efforts to kick the boys in Black and Blue while they were down. 

In the 50th minute, Hany Mukhtar would once again assist on the scoring onslaught when his cross found midfielder Alex Muyl for the header past St. Clair to the bottom left corner of the goal. 3-0, Teal and the boys. Hopefully, that’s when the Loons fans headed for a quick bathroom break, but sheerly for the fact that they could miss out on another goal from Nashville. The team in yellow would find the net again just three minutes later when Nashville forward Sam Surridge would pile on another goal in the 53rd minute to bring the score to 4-0, Nashville. 

And, before the game clock had a chance to tick on the 60th minute of the match, it would be Hany Mukhtar swapping from the role of assistant to scorer, when Dax McCarty’s neat little heel pass would be tapped just enough toward Mukhtar in the box. As one of the most dangerous scorers in the league, Mukhtar had a chance to line things up and go top shelf on Dayne St. Clair. The Loons wouldn’t stop competing by any means, but after 60 minutes, the writing was on the wall and highlighted with glow-in-the-dark paint. 

It’s been an excellent run for the Loons through this Leagues Cup, and an exciting start to a tournament that the league will continue to grow upon in the coming years. But, after such an amazing run that saw the boys claw and scrap their way back from the brink and persevere, it was a shame to see a red card put the Loons behind the 8-ball and out of the mix so soon in the match. Let’s hope all those positives translate into better results for the rest of the season which restarts for MNUFC on August 20 at Citi Field when they take on NYCFC.


NYCFC vs. Minnesota United FC

Citi Field | New York City, NY

08.20.23 | MLS Regular Season

6:30 pm CT (Watch on AppleTV’s MLS Season Pass)