Photo Courtesy of USA Today.
As Nashville SC plays through the second half of the MLS season, four Blue and Gold players continue to suit up for their home countries in 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying – including two who did so at Nissan Stadium this past weekend.
All four will wrap up their international break on Wednesday night. Alistair Johnston and Canada host El Salvador at 6:30 p.m. CT, followed by Aníbal Godoy and Panama hosting Mexico at 7 p.m. CT. Randall Leal and Costa Rica takes on Jamaica at 8 p.m. CT, and Walker Zimmerman and the United States face Honduras on the road at 9 p.m. CT.
All matches will be streamed on Paramount Plus.
Here’s what the Boys in Gold have been up to so far on international break:
Sunday, Sept. 5
Walker Zimmerman (USA) and Alistair Johnston (CAN)
Sunday’s FIFA World Cup Qualifier between the United States and Canada featured two Nashville SC defenders on either side at Nissan Stadium. Though MLS All-Star Walker Zimmerman didn’t play for the United States, Alistair Johnston started and played the duration of the match for Canada. The 22-year-old was a reliable and impactful defender once again for the Canadians as the two sides played to a 1-1 draw in front of 43,028 fans in attendance in Nashville.
Aníbal Godoy (PAN)
Elsewhere in CONCACAF play on Sunday, Nashville SC midfielder Aníbal Godoy played all 90 minutes and served as the captain for Panama as it took on Jamaica. Godoy’s steady presence helped Panama, which controlled possession for 61% of the match, to a 3-0 win at Independence Park in Kingston, Jamaica.
Randall Leal (CR)
For Costa Rica, NSC midfielder Randall Leal starred against Mexico on Sunday, though the Costa Ricans fell in a hard-fought 1-0 loss in Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica. Leal started and played the match’s first 81 minutes before subbing out.
Thursday, Sept. 2
Alistair Johnston (CAN)
Johnston did his part to help Canada to a 1-1 draw in its matchup with Honduras at BMO Field in Toronto last Thursday night. The defender started and had an immediate impact for the Canadians, stopping two Honduras attacks in the first 18 minutes with successful challenges. Johnston, who played the entire match, sent a good through ball that led to a corner kick in the 46’ minute, and then broke up a potential breakaway in the 82’ minute with a tackle that gave possession back to Canada.
Randall Leal (CR) and Aníbal Godoy (PAN)
Later that night, a showdown in Panama City pitted a pair of Nashville midfielders against each other. Costa Rica, featuring Randall Leal, and Panama, led by Anibal Godoy, played to a 0-0 tie to each earn a hard-earned point. Leal drew free kick attempts in each of the 55’ and 62’ minutes, though the Costa Ricans couldn’t do much with either against a feisty Panama defense. Leal started and played 72 minutes before being subbed off. Godoy, meanwhile, started and played the entirety of the match while serving as Panama’s captain. The veteran provided a steady presence throughout the contest, including a highlight in the 34’ minute, when his clean challenge and takeaway led to a Panama attack that nearly yielded a goal.
Walker Zimmerman (USA)
Zimmerman, fresh off his start in the 2021 MLS All-Star Game pres. by Target, was the final Nashville SC player to suit up for a Qualifier game on Thursday night. Zimmerman didn’t play as the United States took a 0-0 draw in El Salvador.