2022.04.16 @ SJ-23

He had done everything but score.  

Through the first six matches of 2022, midfielder Hany Mukhtar had delivered perfect assists, mesmerized with his footwork and delivered inch-perfect balls from set pieces. The only thing missing was a goal.  

On Saturday afternoon, Mukhtar got off the mark with a pair of goals in a 2-2 draw on the road at San Jose Earthquakes. The goals also earned him a spot on the Major League Soccer Team of the Week for the eighth time in his career.  

He scored his first of the season in the 38’ minute with a brilliant solo run. Mukhtar started his run just short of the midfield line, moving unimpeded to the top of the box before stepping around a defender and firing a shot to the lower right corner for the goal.

Midfielder Aníbal Godoy, who assisted on the first goal, marveled at the German’s technique on the goal.  

“It's not normal, you know,” Godoy said. “I’m waiting for somebody to step to Hany, but he’s dribbling like 50 meters. We need to enjoy this time because we have a quality player to try to win the one-against-one duels.” 

His second goal came on the end of a long throw-in from defender Dave Romney in the 63’ minute. The throw came in and was headed to the back post by forward CJ Sapong, falling to Mukhtar to knock home. It’s the second consecutive week that a Romney long throw-in has led to a goal.  

With the two goals on Saturday, Mukhtar has now registered a goal or assist in four consecutive matches. He is credited with six combined goals and assists in 2022, tied for third in the league, after posting a whopping 28 in his Landon Donovan MLS MVP finalist campaign in 2021.

Nashville SC has never lost a regular season match in which Mukhtar registers a goal, posting a 7W-0L-8D record in those matches.  

Mukhtar’s performance comes as the team wraps up an eight-match road trip to begin the season, with the home opener at GEODIS Park less than two weeks away on May 1. So far, Nashville has a 3W-2L-2D on the trip with 11 points. The team’s 1.57 road points per game is the highest of any team in MLS history to play eight or more road matches to start the season. The road trip concludes with another California trip to LA Galaxy this Saturday night at 9:30 p.m. CT.  

Head Coach Gary Smith says he was happy with the effort from his team going into the final match of the road trip.  

“I don’t want to overlook some of terrific things going on with this group,” he said. “The guys are equipping themselves in just about every venue in a wonderful way, and I certainly couldn’t ask for any more from the fellas today.”