Preview: Nashville SC Set To Play Biggest Game In Franchise History

Photo: Courtesy of Nashville SC

The Boys in Gold will play their biggest game yet tonight (Aug. 15), as they host Liga MX club Monterrey at GEODIS Park for the League’s Cup Semifinals at 8 p.m. CT. This will be their best opportunity to win some hardware.

Nashville SC has had some great success since they joined the league, but nothing can compare to what they have accomplished thus far in the League’s Cup.

The club is also just one win away from the Concacaf Champions League. The top three finishers in the League’s Cup will automatically qualify for the North American Tournament. So even if Nashville loses tonight, they will still play in a third-place game. If they win that, they will punch their ticket to the Champions League.

Nashville SC is coming off a dominant 5-0 win over Minnesota United on Friday, Aug. 11. Goals from Hany Mukhtar, Shaq Moore and Sam Surridge led to the club’s best win of the tournament, after winning two straight games in penalty shootout.

Monterrey is coming off a wild 3-2 comeback win over League’s Cup favorites LAFC. The Mexican club scored all three goals in 23 minutes, starting with a penalty in the 68th minute. But it was their all-time leading scorer Rogelio Funes Mori who won it for Monterrey in the 88th minute.

This Semifinals matchup will be extremely intense with a near full house expected. Like the Club América game, the stadium will be filled with mostly Mexican fans to support Monterrey. It will be a wild atmosphere in what should be a tight game.

Nashville SC and Monterrey are both going into the game with huge momentum after their wins. Nashville should feel great after their offensively explosive game, especially with Mukhtar scoring and having three assists. He will need to really show up in this match. A slow, or even poor, performance from him may be fatal to the team’s results.

Monterrey has momentum from an unreal comeback win. They’re also the last Liga MX club in the tournament, so the team is most likely feeling the pressure that comes with representing their league and country.

Head Coach Gary Smith said in his Monday press conference that he has a big decision to make at goalkeeper after Elliot Pannico started against Minnesota due to Joe Willis having to tend to a family matter. Pannico’s performance was excellent, and he has proven himself in both League’s Cup penalty shootouts. However, Willis is the starter and has been THE goalkeeper since day one.

The defense has played pretty great this tournament, despite their struggle against Toluca. The world-class play from Dan Lovitz, Lukas McNaughton and Walker Zimmerman has carried them to this spot. As of late, the offense has been struggling, but the club has found a new way to win with the addition of Surridge.

Surridge has now scored two goals in his two first appearance for Nashville, including an insane stoppage time header against Club América to tie the game and send it into penalties. His play will be key for Nashville tonight.

If Nashville SC wins, they will either head to Philadelphia to play in the final or they will host Inter Miami and World Cup winner Lionel Messi. The same follows if Nashville SC loses and plays in the third-place game. Both the third-place game and the Championship will take place on Saturday (Aug. 19).

Steven Boero