After a strong victory over one New York team on opening weekend, Nashville Soccer Club is headed to New Jersey this Saturday for a clash with the other team in the region: New York Red Bulls.
The Boys in Gold took care of business at home last weekend, winning 2-0 over NYCFC. Walker Zimmerman and Jacob Shaffelburg scored the goals to cap off a dominant team performance in front of 28,000+ at GEODIS Park.
Now, Nashville SC will look to build on that momentum and return to its strong road form that saw them go 7W-5L-5D in 2022.
Watch Free on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app, or join fellow NSC fans at Corner Pub Cool Springs for a watch party on Saturday night starting at 5:30. The Nashville SC Merch Truck will be on-site with the latest Gold, Blue (and black) merch.
Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s road match:
Date: Saturday, March 4
Time: 6:30 p.m. CT
Location: Red Bull Arena (Harrison, NJ)
TV: Watch Free on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app
Radio: 104.5 The Zone
Watch Party: Corner Pub Cool Springs
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Randall’s Resurgence – Through his first three years in Nashville, midfielder/forward Randall Leal has played in winger positions for most of his appearances.
With Hany Mukhtar recovering from a preseason injury, Leal had the chance to start in a more central role in last weekend’s 2-0 win over NYCFC. He thrived in this role, with Jacob Shaffelburg and Fafà Picault providing pace on the wings.
Head Coach Gary Smith said he was delighted to see Leal’s performance in that central role.
“What we have been reminded of is that Randall is an incredible player centrally,” Smith said. “He can dictate the pace of the game a little bit more and certainly put himself into some positions that are tough to deal with.”
Davis’ Return – For the first time in his career, midfielder Sean Davis will play at Red Bull Arena as a member of the visiting team.
Davis spent the first seven seasons of his MLS career at Red Bulls, including a stint as captain of the side, before signing with Nashville SC in 2022. He says he’s looking forward to the place he began his professional career.
“Personally, I’m really excited about it,” he said. “Just excited to be back in front of my friends and family and playing against a club that did so much for me. I’m really grateful for my time in New York. It’s going to be fun to be back sharing that experience with Dax and Alex.”
Scouting Red Bulls – New York Red Bulls have been one of the most consistent clubs in MLS, making the playoffs in every season since 2009. Their fast-paced, up-tempo style is one of the most unique in the league.
Smith explained the particular challenges that Red Bulls present.
“I’m not sure they’ve changed in what they try and do and how they try to play over the course of the last five or six years,” Smith said. “They are a unique group in the way that they play. They are very effective, and it’s difficult to play against them because it’s so different to a lot of other teams. Their intensity and competitive nature is at the tip of the work they try and achieve.”