Randall Leal is the first Nashville SC player to be named to the MLS Team of the Week after his sensational play in week 1 against rival FC Cincinnati. Leal made TOTW two weeks in a row last season in weeks 19 and 20 and made the bench in week 9.
The Costa Rican earned his honors Saturday night by contributing to both Nashville goals, assisting Jhonder Cadiz's goal in the 20th minute and scoring unassisted in the 64th minute to bring the Boys in Gold level with Cincy. In total, Leal had four shots, all on target, 82% passing rate, and created six chances.
Leal's nemesis on the night was none other than Cincy goalkeeper Premzylaw Tyton, who also was named to the MLS TOTW. Tyton kept Cincy in the game by withstanding a veritable barrage of Nashville shots. The Boys in Gold cranked off 32 shots, which was good enough for the third most in MLS history behind New York/New Jersey Metro Stars with 38 and 2019 San Jose Earthquakes who lead with 43. Nashville put 13 of those shots on target and scored two, but the 11 saves that Tyton made were phenomenal. Trust me, I hate to praise FC Cincinnati, but I've got to give credit where credit is due.
Cincy hit Nashville in the mouth from the opening
whistle, scoring in the 8th and 12th minutes while pressing high up the field and keeping Nashville off-balance. Fortunately, Nashville was shocked into gear after Brenner scored his penalty in the 12th minute to go up 2-0. NSC turned up the pressure and never took their foot off the gas. They turned the tables on the Blue and Orange, and it was only Tyton who allowed Cincy to keep a point.
Cincinnati open their new West End Stadium this weekend against New York City FC. NYCFC lost last weekend to DC United 2-1. Nashville stay home and host CF Montreal. The club formerly known as Impact defeated fellow Canadian club Toronto FC 4-2 on Saturday.