After making history in the club’s inaugural Major League Soccer season, Nashville SC rewrote the books again in 2021.
The Boys in Gold have wrapped up the 2021 regular season as the third seed in the Eastern Conference for the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. Before the team gets ready to face Orlando City SC at home in the First Round, take a look at some of the numbers behind Nashville SC’s historic 2021 regular season:
“Two Years in the League, Two Playoffs”
Nashville SC became just the fourth team in the modern expansion era to clinch a playoff berth in their first two seasons as an MLS franchise (Seattle Sounders FC, LAFC, Atlanta United FC). LAFC made the Western Conference Final in its second MLS season, while Atlanta United FC won MLS Cup in its sophomore year.
Nov. 4, 2020.
That was the last time a visiting team won a match at Nissan Stadium.
Nashville SC owns the longest home unbeaten streak in MLS at 18 overall matches, which includes a win in the 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. Nashville SC became the seventh team in MLS history to go a full season without a home loss, owning a record of 8W-0L-9D in the 2021 season.
No Time for Losin’
Nashville SC had the fewest losses in MLS this season with four, tying a league record for fewest losses in a season. The record had been achieved six previous times. The Boys in Gold bounced back strong from each loss this season, winning all four of their matches following losses and scoring 19 goals in the process.
Lock It Down
Nashville SC’s defense was a force to be reckoned with this season Nashville SC allowed just 33 goals this season as a team, tied for the fewest in all of MLS. That metric built on Nashville’s stellar 2020 defense, which finished third in goals allowed in its inaugural MLS season.
That defensive prowess also gave goalkeeper Joe Willis a share of the league lead in clean sheets with 13, tied with New York Red Bulls’ Carlos Coronel and Colorado Rapids’ William Yarbrough.
Move it Forward
In addition to a stalwart defense, the Boys in Gold were electric on offense as well. Nashville SC’s +22 goal differential was the second-best in MLS. That increase in goal-scoring output improved on Nashville’s +2 goal differential in 2020.
Nashville’s attacking trio of Hany Mukhtar, Randall Leal and CJ Sapong helped boost the team’s offensive metrics this season. Mukhtar led the charge, finishing as the league’s leader in combined goals and assists with 28. Leal was a long-range threat all season long, scoring the second-most goals from outside the 18-yard box in MLS. Sapong also became a reliable target for Mukhtar and Leal, scoring double-digit goals for the third time in his career.