2023.02.22 Training-34 (1)

It’s finally time for kickoff again in Tennessee.

Nashville SC’s 2023 season gets underway this Saturday with a matchup against NYCFC at GEODIS Park. It’s the first matchup on the 2023 MLS calendar, with the rest of the league kicking off later on Saturday evening.

This will be a special home opener as Nashville SC celebrates the Man in Black Match along with its new Man in Black Kit, created in collaboration with Johnny Cash’s family and estate. For the first time ever, the Boys in Gold will wear Black. We encourage all fans to wear black to the match as well, as we honor Johnny Cash on what would have been his 91st birthday weekend.

Tickets for the Man in Black Match are still available here.

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

Date: Saturday, Feb. 25 
Time: 3:30 p.m. CT  
Location: GEODIS Park (Nashville, Tenn.)  
TV: Watch Free on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, FOX and FOX Deportes 
Radio: 104.5 The Zone
A-Z Matchday Guide 
GEODIS Park Policies  
Transportation Info
Matchday Lineup

First Touches – There's no more warmups. It’s finally time to play for real.

Nashville SC has endured a grueling preseason for six weeks in the Florida heat. Now, defender Walker Zimmerman says he’s ready to play for real, especially in the new Man in Black kits.

“We’re excited to play a real game,” Zimmerman said. “It’s been a long preseason, played some intersquad. But now we’re just ready to get the season started and rock out in the Black kits. It’s going to be great.”

New and Familiar Faces – Saturday's home opener will be the first for a few members of the Nashville squad.

Defender Shaq Moore and winger Jacob Shaffelburg, who were acquired midway through the 2022 season, will experience their first season opener at GEODIS Park. In addition, Fafà Picault, who was acquired from Houston Dynamo FC in November, will have the chance to make his Nashville SC debut.

“From the very outset of wanting to add an attacking influence on the group, [Fafà] was always uppermost in our minds,” Head Coach Gary Smith said. “He’s incredibly quick, he’s very direct. If you couple that with the fact that there are few players that can run at the sort of pace and acceleration that Fafà can, and work as hard as he does, he’s good on both sides of the ball. He gives us not just another option, but a different option.”

Gaffer’s Expectations – On Thursday, Nashville SC announced a contract extension for Head Coach Gary Smith through the 2025 MLS season.

Smith reflected on what the club has endured in its first few years, and his aspirations for the future.

“I look at what we endured in our first year, some of the real difficulties,” Smith said. “The tornado, Covid, playing in empty stadiums, trying to get the group into a competitive MLS team. Players along the way have been the glue that’s held everything together. I’ve been extremely proud to be a part of that.

“I still believe there’s an awful lot for us to achieve. In fact, we’re only just getting started.”