2022.08.31 COL-283

It’s a battle of Music Cities on Saturday night when Nashville SC (11W-9L-9D, 42 pts.) welcomes Austin FC (15W-7L-6D, 51 pts.) to GEODIS Park for the first time.  

The Boys in Gold are riding a three-match win streak, outscoring their opponents 11-1 in the process. On Wednesday Night, MVP frontrunner Hany Mukhtar netted the first hat trick in GEODIS Park history to help secure a 4-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. That boosted Mukhtar to 19 goals on the season, smashing his career high of 16 set last season.  

Saturday’s matchup will pit Mukhtar against Austin FC’s MVP candidate Sebastián Driussi. You won’t want to miss two of the most electrifying players in Major League Soccer go head-to-head. Tickets are available here.  

Saturday will also mark Kick Childhood Cancer Night in Music City. Nashville SC is joining MLS WORKS and Continental Tire in their support of the KCC campaign by fundraising and organizing acts of kindness for patients, families and health providers at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. 

Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s match:  

Date: Saturday, Sept. 3 
Time: 7:30 p.m. CT  
Location: GEODIS Park (Nashville, Tenn.)  
TV: MyTV30  
Local Stream: NashvilleSC.com/stream, Nashville SC app  
English Radio: iHeartRadio Online, Nashville SC App  
Spanish Radio: El Jefe 96.7 FM  
A-Z Matchday Guide  
GEODIS Park Policies  
Parking and Transportation Info  
Matchday Lineup 

MVP! MVP! MVP! - Hany Mukhtar is inevitable right now.  

The Nashville SC midfielder is right behind Austin’s Sebastián Driussi in the Golden Boot race with 19 goals and leads MLS in goal contributions (goals + assists) this season with 30. In his three seasons in Nashville, Mukhtar has been involved in over half of Nashville SC’s regular season goals (66 of 124). 

The German attacker has shined in the summer heat, becoming the fourth player in MLS history to produce at least 12 goal contributions (seven goals, five assists) in a calendar month.  

Captain Dax McCarty went to bat for Mukhtar’s MVP campaign after Wednesday’s match.  

“For me, there’s a lot of great players in this league,” McCarty said. “A lot of guys that are deserving of being talked about as MVP candidates. But none of them come close to what this guy has done over the last two seasons, and that’s inarguable. The hat trick is just the cherry on top of another wonderful season.” 

Shaffelburg Scorin’ - Winger Jacob Shaffelburg has already made an impact in just three appearances for the Boys in Gold on loan from Toronto FC.  

He scored on his debut against FC Dallas on Aug. 21, then earned a penalty in a 20-minute substitute appearance at Vancouver Whitecaps FC last Saturday. On Wednesday against Colorado, he scored again at GEODIS Park to pad Nashville’s lead. 

Head Coach Gary Smith had high praise for the Nova Scotia native.  

“What I expected as a player, I think we’ve got,” said Smith. “Very dynamic, very left-footed which balances our group out, extremely energetic and team-oriented. If you look at the way that he’s affected our group, the different dimension that he’s offered our team, and of course two goals and a penalty earned in the three games he’s been involved in, I’m not sure I could have expected too much more of a return than we’ve got right now. I’m delighted that he’s here and my hope is that he can keep reinforcing those performances.” 

Scouting Austin FC – Austin FC has been one of the stories of the Western Conference this season. After finishing below the playoff line in their inaugural season in 2021, the Verde and Black have shot up the standings this season to second in the conference. After thrashing LAFC 4-1 at Q2 Stadium last Friday, Austin is within six points of first place.  

The team is led by Driussi, who has a league-leading 20 goals this season. Saturday’s match will be a clash of MVP frontrunners between Driussi and Nashville’s Mukhtar.   

Smith says he knows the challenge that lies ahead on Saturday. 

“Driussi is a fantastic player,” Smith said. “He’s hugely influential for Austin. He is a very good position, and he’s fighting hard for the MVP title. What I expect is to run into a group that are in a very confident mood. They have some terrific momentum with a wonderful result against LAFC a week ago. I’m sure they feel as though they could possibly chase that Western Conference title down. The team coming into town is one of the in-form teams. In the last three games, we’re not far away from that ourselves.”