Nashville SC is on fire.
The Boys in Gold have won four matches in a row, a new club record. That run has catapulted the club up to fourth place in the Western Conference, putting it well in contention for a home playoff match.
What’s been behind the late-season surge? Let’s take a look at the numbers over the last four matches:
Outscoring Opponents 14-1
Nashville is scoring. A lot.
The Boys in Gold have scored at least three goals three goals in every match while on this winning streak for a total of 14 goals, all against playoff contenders. In each of the matches, Nashville SC has gotten on the board first and never looked back. This season, Nashville SC is undefeated when scoring the first goal (11W-0L-7D).
Those goals have come from six different players on the pitch, including a brace from Jack Maher and a Nashville SC debut goal from Jacob Shaffelburg.
Seven goals from Hany Mukhtar
With a hat trick and two braces, Nashville’s MVP frontrunner has balled out during this streak. The only match he didn’t score in was the 3-0 win over Vancouver in which he had two assists. He’s got three assists in total during the streak to go with his seven goals.
Those seven goals have vaulted Mukhtar into the lead of the MLS Golden Boot race(21 goals) and to the top of the conversation for Landon Donovan MLS MVP Award.
Along the way, Mukhtar picked up two MLS Player of the Week awards and the August Player of the Month award for his efforts. He’s the first player in Nashville SC history to be named Player of the Month.
Three Clean Sheets
While the offense has been firing on all cylinders, the defense has put up numbers during the win streak as well. Three of the four wins on the streak so far have come with clean sheets. Most recently against Austin FC, goalkeeper Joe Willis stopped all five shots on target in the 3-0 victory.
In the first two matches of the streak (4-0 vs. FC Dallas and 3-0 at Vancouver Whitecaps FC), the Boys in Gold defense held their opponents to zero shots on target.
Lower than 1.00 opponent expected goals
In all four matches on this streak, Nashville SC has held its opponents to 1.00 expected goals (xG) or lower. xG is a measurement of how many goals a team is expected to score based on the quality of chances generated.
Essentially, the Nashville defense has held its opponents to mostly low-danger chances throughout the match, so much so that none of its opponents on this win streak were expected to score a goal.