Preview | #NSHvMIN

Preview | #NSHvMIN

NASHVILLE SC vs. MINNESOTA UNITED
Nissan Stadium | Nashville, Tennessee
10.06.2020 | MLS Week No. 16 | MLS Game No. 16
7:30 p.m. CT (FOX Sports North, FOX Sports GO, MNUFC Radio on SKOR North)

2020 Records:
NSH: 4-5-5 (3-1-2 at home)
MIN: 6-5-4 (3-4-3 on the road)

With Decision Day just a little over a month away, Minnesota United secured a much needed three-point result over visiting FC Cincinnati 2-0 on Saturday night. After taking an early lead on Kei Kamara’s penalty kick goal — his first for MNUFC — in the 13th minute, the Loons sealed the victory with a Kevin Molino goal in the 69th minute shortly after the midfielder came on as a sub. Minnesota looked steady and assured, particularly in the 4-2-3-1 with Molino. They’ll be looking for more of the same against a Nashville SC side that have struggled to score while showing strong defensive chops. A win could lift the Loons as high as second in the Western Conference as they looks to solidify the growing chemistry between their core and recent arrivals Emanuel Reynoso, Kei Kamara and Bakaye Dibassy, even as they miss Jan Gregus due to a national team call-up.

THE OPPOSITION
An expansion team’s first season is almost always a bit of a roller coaster, but surely Nashville SC are experiencing an inaugural season unlike any before. Between losing their first two games, bowing out of the MLS Is Back Tournament after positive COVID tests, and inconsistent offensive production overall, Music City SC will likely look back on their MLS debut with a mix of wonder and befuddlement. A four-goal explosion against Atlanta United aside, NSC have not scored more than a goal in any game. Despite this, over their last eight games, Nashville SC are 3-1-4 with their lone loss coming to dominant Columbus. Whatever their struggles in front of net, their defense has been excellent and will present a steep challenge for a Minnesota squad still finding their balance in the final third as the new additions acclimate to the team.

JACORI HAYES ON THE WIN OVER FC CINCINNATI

“It’s always nice to get a win. Everyone was smiling and buzzing after the game, trainings are a little bit more fun. Hopefully we can do the same tomorrow. It livens the mood of the group and it’s super tight in the Western Conference right now and any points are big right now, especially three points.”
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ADRIAN HEATH ON THE SHORT TURNAROUND ON THE ROAD

“It’s always a challenge on the road in this league because of the travel, etc. but we’re all in the same boat. What was it, seven games in 24 days or whatever it was so it’s not ideal we know that, but it’s not just for us, [it’s] for the rest of the teams around the league. A lot of us are, perhaps, playing players who are not 100 percent. It’s not easy. We’re going to go [to Nashville], going to give it a go and be positive because that’s what we have to do and then we’re looking at another four or five days and then we’re on the road in Dallas. It gets no easier, that’s why the three points at the weekend were probably more important than the performance.”

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STORYLINE
Kevin Molino made a huge impact in the game against FC Cincinnati, returning from injury as a sub in the second half before scoring to ice a 2-0 win. Chemistry is of utmost importance in soccer, especially when it comes to coordinating the attack, and Molino, Reynoso and Lod have made for a formidable attacking midfield. The Loons, however, should also be getting some players back from injury before too long, including winger Ethan Finlay and defensive mid Osvaldo Alonso. The partnership between Romain Metanire at fullback and Finlay ahead of him down the right side has often been fruitful, but Lod has also shown an ability to cut in and score with his left foot from that right side. Having too many strong players available is certainly a problem Head Coach Adrian Heath will relish solving, but making the right moves now could mean the difference between hosting a playoff game and traveling to one — a thing no team wants to face, especially right now.

FIRST TOUCHES

Kei Kamara’s goal against FC Cincinnati made him the oldest goalscorer in club history at 36 years old and 32 days.

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SOUND OF THE LOONS: CAMPING

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