With a club-record four-match win streak in tow, Nashville SC (12W-9L-9D, 45 pts.) will look to keep the good vibes rolling against the LA Galaxy (11W-11L-6D, 39 pts.) on Saturday afternoon at GEODIS Park.
Last Saturday night, the Boys in Gold dispatched second-place Austin FC 3-0 at GEODIS Park. Hany Mukhtar scored twice to put himself in the lead of the MLS Golden Boot race with 21 goals and the Landon Donovan MLS MVP race. It also launched Nashville to fourth place in the Western Conference, the final spot for at least one home playoff match with only four matches remaining in the regular season.
Mukhtar is coming off of back-to-back MLS Player of the Week performances and earning the first MLS Player of the Month award in club history.
This Saturday afternoon, the LA Galaxy come to town trailing Nashville by six points in the standings. With a vital three points on the line for both sides’ aspirations, the match will surely bring the fireworks. Saturday is also the club’s Hispanic Heritage Night, as we highlight local Hispanic communities and raise funds in support of the Tennessee Latin American Chamber of Commerce (TLACC). Tickets are still available here [LINK].
Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s match:
Date: Saturday, Sept. 10
Time: 2:30 p.m. CT
Location: GEODIS Park (Nashville, Tenn.)
TV: Univision, TUDN
Stream (English): Twitter
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
Playoff Pressure – With four consecutive wins under its belt, Nashville SC is back in control of its playoff destiny.
The last four matches have seen Nashville SC leapfrog back up the Western Conference standings into a home playoff spot. With just four matches remaining, every point counts down the stretch.
Head Coach Gary Smith says the pressure of the playoff push has boosted his team.
“We’ve seen from our group that they’ve been able to deal with a little bit of pressure and turn results their way in some of the most difficult circumstances,” Smith said. “I think we’ve found a nice vein of creation and scoring. That confidence and belief does the world of good for any team. It won’t win the game on its own, but what it does do is allow the players to play with a little more enthusiasm and freedom. They’re not so tight and stressed in the way they go about their business. For me, that will be a determining factor in who can turn this result their way.”
Players Pushing – Smith has a good problem on his hands: a large group of players firing on all cylinders.
Six different players have found the back of the net for Nashville on this win streak for a total of 14 goals. Opponents have scored just one goal in that span. That form has Nashville SC making history. The club has tied its record for wins in a season with 12, and has scored in a club-record 15 consecutive matches dating back to June 19.
Smith says the team’s recent form gives him a lot to ponder with his lineup choices.
“If you look at the group was rotated last week because of our three matches in a short period of time, it certainly gave me a lot more scope to be moving players and asking individuals to get a job done or be a part of whatever that competitive group was,” Smith said. “There’s a lot of good form, there’s a lot of confidence and there’s a lot of players that are unhappy and disappointed when they’re not in the Starting XI now, and rightly so. That breeds competition and an edge to the players that are going to start the game because they know if they can do well, there’s a better-than-average chance that they might well be chosen for the next game.”
Scouting the Galaxy – LA Galaxy is led by Javier “Chicharito” Hernández with 14 goals this season. He scored a brace last weekend in a 2-2 draw at home vs. Sporting Kansas City.
This is Nashville SC’s second-ever match against the LA Galaxy, and the first in Nashville. On April 23, the Galaxy took the inaugural matchup between the two sides 1-0 in Carson.
That first matchup came on the back end of Nashville’s eight-match road trip to start the season before the first match at GEODIS Park. Smith says the circumstances have changed for both sides going into this match.
“I think we’re going to see a very different game this weekend,” Smith said. “We’re in a better place, I think they are too. They’ve added a couple of bodies that are very talented and have given them a different dimension. They’re in a reasonable run and know that it’s a pivotal time for them as well. I’m expecting a far more aggressive display from my group and I would think they’re coming here to get maximum points given the position they’re in.”