After a red card for Minnesota United’s DJ Taylor in the 34th minute, Nashville SC took advantage of the man advantage with a clinical five-goal display. It seemed like so long ago that Nashville struggled to convert chances, but they certainly didn’t have that issue tonight with five different goal-scorers.
Many expected that new Nashville SC signing Sam Surridge could possibly get the start on Friday night, however, manager Gary Smith elected to go with Teal Bunbury. Considering the form and the public opinion of the two players this was a tad surprising. However, with the final score and the fact both players got on the scoresheet, it’s yet another correct decision made by Smith.
All the talk after the match of course is going to be about the most single important event which is the Taylor red card for Minnesota in the 34th minute. For one Nashville SC’s Jacob Shaffelburg deserves a lot of credit for the quick decisive run which forced Taylor to make the decision to either pull down Shaffelburg or give him a free run directly at goal. The contact wasn’t flagrant but the letter of the law for a red card involves denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity and that is certainly what occurred. Once this happened Phil Neville the former Inter Miami manager said on the broadcast how important the next 10 minutes would be for Minnesota to not concede a goal before the halftime break. If Minnesota could withstand the pressure till halftime, it would have put a lot of pressure on Nashville to get the goal before the 90 minutes was up that would lead to penalties. Of course, Nashville goes on and gets the important goal just before the break which broke the game wide open for the remaining four goals in the second half.
After Friday night’s win they will host Liga MX side Monterey on Tuesday night for a chance to advance to the Final. After each win for Nashville and Inter Miami, the looming possibility of Lionel Messi playing at Geodis Park gains large. I’d be lying if I wasn’t looking ahead at that potential matchup and I wouldn’t be surprised if the players for Nashville SC aren’t either.
Patton Cook / WNSR Columnist
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