Nashville SC very good and very bad in preseason friendlies

By Ben Sundock
Mar. 05, 2020

Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Nashville SC is working hard to be ready for their MLS home-opener on February 29 against Atlanta United. With the weather in the Music City less than ideal - it has rained almost every day for the last two weeks - the team has taken up residence at IMG Academy in Florida where they are scrimmaging other teams and bonding with their new teammates.

Many of these players have never played together and some - like Jack Maher - have never played in a professional soccer league before. So, it is hard to predict how the preseason fixtures should be going for manager Gary Smith's side.

Through three ties, NSC is 1-1-1. They opened up the preseason with a 0-0 draw against Swedish club IF Elfsborg at the end of January, lost 3-1 to MLS side Chicago Fire, and defeated USL Champions Louisville City SC 4-1 thanks in large part to an early goal from Costa Rican striker Randall Leal.

So, technically earning four points through three matches is not crazy impressive, but it's not as bad as many expected either.

Leal has been the biggest standout thus far and Dax McCarty, as expected, has been the team's leader both on and off the field.

According to The Tennesseean, head coach Gary Smith is judging his team based on four pillars. "Attacking style, defensive style, the formation in and out of possession, and pressing its opponent." He stated that the pressing from his squad has improved significantly over the last couple of weeks of training and is going to continue to be the most important pillar as well.

Maher and Colombian Miguel Nazari are the future center back's for the club and at such a young age, they both will grow into the game together.

With another friendly coming on Wednesday against the Montreal Impact, it will be a good judge of where exactly Nashville SC stacks up against other Major League Soccer competition.