It took over 320 game minutes, but Nashville SC goalkeeper Joe Willis was finally beaten by a questionably onside Gustavo Bou. Regardless of the call, NSC simply did not have the quality to get it done, and the Boys in Gold lose 0-1 in New England.
By the end of the match, according to Fotmob, only one of the top ten-rated players was a Nashville player, and that was Dax McCarty with a 7.27. Former NSC defender and new Revolution signing Dave Romney finished with a rating of 7.50 against his former club.
Nashville never really had momentum in this match, although there were a few chances. Reigning MVP Hany Mukhtar cracked off a shot outside the box in the 15th minute that was saved into the path of former Revolution forward Teal Bunbury who ricocheted a pass to Jacob Shaffelburg off Daniel Lovitz, but Shaff's shot was blocked. In the 35th minute, two-time Defender of the Year Walker Zimmerman took a corner off his head that hit the crossbar.
Willis had three saves at halftime and seemed determined to become the first MLS goalkeeper to start the season with four consecutive clean sheets, but it was not meant to be. In the 52nd minute, left back DeJuan Jones split the defense with a pass that found Bou alone. The Nashville defenders appealed for an offisde call, but they were ignored by the official. Bou took the ball into the left side of the box and beat Willis to the nearside upper corner.
After that goal, head coach Gary Smith showed that he did not know how to chase a game. Smith made two subs at the 63rd minute, swapping Alex Muyl for Fafa Picault and Bunbury for CJ Sapong. Picault forced two saves with his time on the field, but nothing legitimate.
In the 79th minute, Smith brought on brand new signing Jan Gregus for Sean Davis. Gregus was announced Friday, and the Slovakian midfielder made his debut immediately. The 32-year-old comes to Music City from San Jose Earthquakes after being the third Designated Player in Minnesota United history. Gregus also played for FC Copenhagen in Denmark and had 107 appearances for the club including the 2016 UEFA Champions League.
The Boys in Gold return home this Saturday to take on rival FC Cincinnati at Geodis Park. FCC fought back from being down 1-3 on Saturday night to drawing 3-3 with Chicago Fire. The Knifey Lions are undefeated on the season with defeats of Houston Dynamo and Seattle Sounders and draws to Orlando CIty and the previously mentioned Fire. In the previous eight matchups, Nashville SC has never lost in regulation to FC Cincinnati with two wins and six draws dating back to 2018 in USL. The match kicks off at 6:30 on AppleTV.
(All photos courtesy of Nashville SC)