Nashville SC returns home to the Castle on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. CT for the first time since Sept. 2 with the chance to clinch a spot in the 2023 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. Nashville is undefeated against the Seattle Sounders in two matches, winning both meetings between the sides 1-0. Saturday’s matchup will be the first time Nashville faces off against Seattle this season.
Can’t make the match? Watch on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV
Date: Saturday, Sept. 30
Time: 7:30 p.m. CT
Location: GEODIS Park (Nashville, TN.)
Radio: 104.5 The Zone and the 104.5 the Zone App
Scouting the Sounders – The Seattle Sounders have seen a great deal of success in MLS and in regional competition, but the Sounders have yet to defeat the Boys in Gold. The two teams play a similar play style and have similar methods of attack, according to Fafá Picault.
“They’re a very complete team,” Picault said. “We know what they bring, and it’s going to be a battle. Obviously, we’re also in a good way at the moment, and we get this opportunity to play at home. I think it’s ours to lose and we just have to keep up a gelled performance and we can pull off a win at home, but we know it’s not going to be easy.”
“I don’t think they just counterattack. Obviously, it’s one of their strengths, and the players they have, and the personnel are very good at it. But at the end of the day, I think we have just the same weapons and so the important thing is being focused on the field and obviously taking advantage of the opportunities. We do get in front of the goal, we want to finish them because we know they can do the same on the opposite end.”
Playoff crunch time - With fewer playoff spots up for grabs at the end of each matchday, the team will be looking to secure as many points as possible come end of the season.
“It’s bunched up if you look at the points, if you look at the placement of teams,” Picault said. “Any team can fall anywhere in these next few games so it’s important, every game is crucial, every point is crucial. We have four home games out of the next five, so it’s important that we do everything we can to grab as many points and maximize our opportunities, cause if you look around there’s a lot of competition. Important thing would be securing a home game, but at the end of the day we’re going to fight for the best spot at the top of the league and prepare ourselves for playoffs no matter where we land.
Finding success on Saturday – The Boys in Gold will have to find balance on the field against one of the top Western Conference teams on Saturday.
“The stats tell us that they’re not an easy group to play against and to score against,” said head coach Gary Smith. “That’ll be part in parcel of the difficulty of this weekend. What’s the balance for us in terms of committing players and getting ourselves in front and in a good spot. How do we change the dynamic of the game to put them out of their stride on our own turf? Of course, that’s always the balance and the challenge against any top team.”