Facts and Feelings of the Draw with Toronto FC
Fans can't help but be annoyed by the performance we saw on Saturday against Toronto FC. Nashville had some great offensive pushes and with Fafa and Shaffleburg on the side; we looked like more of a threat. But what team in the history of soccer has been able to really make a run without a competent striker. We're now at 27 games with only one goal from a striker. Soccer is won by stretching out the defense and making them mess up and then optimizing on that mistake. It's very difficult for a team to do that when they can triple team our main goal scorer (which Toronto did) and squeeze the wingers knowing we don't have a striker.
Sadly, there's only two aspects of the game that I felt was positive. Joe Willis had another great game and he's not getting the national recognition that he should be getting. If St. Claire or Gallese or Johnson were having this level of performance, they would be everywhere. And for a cold, rainy holiday weekend; 26,999 was an amazing turnout from fans.
Other than DC United and Montreal (weird), no one has scored more than 1 goal against Toronto and they have 5 draws out of their first 7 games. So to say "we suck" because we didn't beat them isn't a great argument. Atlanta and Columbus both tied them and they're both looking strong this season. Nashville never "parked the bus" as they had 8 shots and 3 on target (Toronto having 10 shots and 3 SOG). The problem isn't the willingness to get up and attack; the issue lies within how we perform in that final 3rd.
In our last four games, we've taken 48 shots with 12 of them being shots on target (or Shots on Goal). Out of that, we've made 2 goals which were both extremely low xG (sometimes the ball just bounces your way). having 48 shots with only 2 goals to show is pitiful. It shows that we are taking shots that are not good shots and that's most likely because our final third isn't strong enough to create a lot of good chances.
Last facts; MLS should be putting some respect to Joe Willis' name. Tied for first in Most Clean Sheets (5) with the highest Save Percentage (92%) he is outclassing everyone at this point. Also, if it wasn't for him we would have a very bad record right now.
Unless we get a striker who can score more than once every 27 (and counting) games than this is what most of the recaps will look like. A strong push to score with no luck because Hany winning the Golden Boot and MVP put him on every radar and teams are practicing how to shut him down. Because if you shut down Hany you shut down Nashville SC. I can only hope Mike Jacobs is working on this solution.