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Nashville SC vs DC United Game Recap

Updated: Jul 3, 2023


Nashville SC

Starters:  Joe Willis, Daniel Lovitz, Jack Maher, Shaq Moore, Walker Zimmerman, Dax McCarty, Randall Leal (Lukas MacNaughton 67'), Hany Mukhtar (Taylor Washington 90'+2'), Teal Bunbury (Ethan Zubak 67'), Alex Muyl (Brian Anunga 83'), Sean Davis

Unused Subs:  Elliot Panicco, Laurence Wkye, Josh Bauer, Jan Gregus, Luke Haakenson

Formation (4-3-3)

DC United 

Starter: Tyler Miller, Pedro Santos, Donovan Pines (Taxi Fountas 46'), Derrick Williams, Brendan Hines-Ike, Andy Najar, Chris Durkin (Yamil Asad 85'), Lewis O'Brien, Mateusz Klich, Cristian Dájome (Kristian Fletcher 74'), Christian Benteke

Unused Subs: Alex Bono, Russell Canouse, Erik Hurtado, Gaoussou Samaké, Ruan, Steven Birnbaum

Formation (3-4-2-1)

Game Recap: 

First Half:

Coming off a game where the Black & Red played their best half of the season, came a match where United played one of their worst.

DC didn’t look up for the challenge from minute one and allowed the ball into the back of the net in the first minutes. It was rightly ruled offsides, but it set a precedent and charged up an already boisterous crowd.

Taking the first goal from Randall Leal seemed to charge the forward up as he would score a first half brace. Leal had only scored one goal in ten previous MLS matches prior to the game against United, having dealt with injuries earlier in the season, and he seemed to want to prove he is back.

For the goal, Leal got behind United’s backline, taking a perfect pass from Hany Mukhtar. Leal made a perfect touch move on Tyler Miller before passing the ball into an empty net. Miller’s playing style is risky and been criticized by pundits, but this goal had nothing to do with that, nor was this a high line by DC. It was a midline, and the Center Backs needed to do better.

The Music seemed keen to play DC United’s offensive strategy of tight pressing, and quick direct long balls over the top. This strategy led to the disallowed goal, the first recorded goal, and the second. A long ball was kicked deep into United’s half, but Brendan Hines-Ike couldn’t properly head the ball, which ended up going back towards United’s box, two United players (Pines and Santos) collided, and allowed Leal to pickup possession. From there the Nashville forward placed the ball brilliantly past Miller for his second goal of the night.

United would get better control of the ball, but it felt more like Nashville dialed back the intensity than United started playing better. DC entered the half down two and looking bereft of ideas.

Second Half: 

Wayne Rooney went for an offensive substitution when he had Taxi Fountas enter the match for Donovan Pines at halftime. This move improved the Black & Red’s attack, but United weren’t able to create enough successful chances in the final third. Benteke looked like he might have pulled one back for the Black & Red in the 55th-minute, but the offside flag also went up on the play. Moments later, Nashville Goalkeeper Joe Willis made a sprawling save on Cristian Dajome's up-close shot.

The Black & Red got a boost when Walker Zimmerman picked up his second yellow card of the match in the 64th minute. It proved not to be enough as the Boys in Gold showed their defensive grit and ability to stymie United’s attacking rhythm with well timed wasting despite an aggressive push by the Black & Red.

United will have to be goldfish and put this game behind them as they have a quick turnaround as they continue on the road to face FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on the Fourth of July, unfortunately they won’t have Benteke due to yellow card accumulation.

Notes From the couch :

  • Nashville has an awesome crowd

  • The guitarist definitely gets the energy up in the stadium 

  • Nashville is pressing the heck out of United 

  • Damn that’s an early goal

  • United is lucky that got called offside 

  • Nashville’s attack is looking way better than it did earlier this season 

  • Nashville is really going direct against United

  • Nashville is just bossing DC


  • It was tight, but the goal counts, Leal made a heck of a run and move on Miller

  • Missing Canouse tonight, I think he has to be brought back in the defense

  • United can’t seem to handle Nashville’s pressure 

  • Leal is making DC’s defense look really bad.

  • Down two to a team that rarely gives up multiple goals is just not the recipe for success 

  • DC’s midfield isn’t dominating as they should

  • Halftime - Thank God

  • Taxi in for Pines

  • Damn, that goal would have made this a different game

  • Joe Willis is such a good goalie 

  • Zimmerman off on a really dumb foul 

  • Nashville is such a CONCACAF team 

  • More time wasting

  • DC still needs a player that creates goals

  • A big let down tonight

Player Ratings (FotMob):

Tyler Miller            5.1

Brendan Hines-Ike 6.4

Derrick Williams    6.1

Donovan Pines       6.0

Andy Najar             7.4

Pedro Santos           7.2

Chris Durkin           6.5

Lewis O’Brien        7.7

Mateusz Klich         6.4

Christen Dajome     5.8

Christian Benteke    6.8


Taxi Fuentas            6.3

Kristen Fletcher       5.9

Yamil Assad            N/A

Next Match: DC United on the road to face FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on July 4 at 8:30 pm ET.

Written by: RJ Rolsen 

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