ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 30, 2023) – Nashville SC will host the first-ever MLS Playoffs game at GEODIS Park when they return home Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. CT to take on Orlando City SC in Game 2 of the Round One Best-of-3 Series following a 1-0 loss at Orlando in Game 1 tonight. Limited tickets for Game 2 are still available here.
The Boys in Gold pressured Orlando City SC throughout the match, creating multiple close-range chances and landing three shots on goal. Just moments after Orlando City SC took the 1-0 lead, reigning Landon Donovan MLS MVP and Nashville leading-scorer Hany Mukhtar nearly evened the score after ringing a shot off the Orlando crossbar.
Following the match, Head Coach Gary Smith and Defender Jack Maher both noted the closeness of the contest and stressed the optimism of the Club heading into Game 2 at GEODIS Park.
History Will Be Made: When the Boys in Gold battle Orlando City SC in Music City on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. CT, GEODIS Park will host the first-ever MLS Playoff match in the stadium's short history. GEODIS Park opened May 1, 2022 when it hosted a sellout crowd of 31,109 as the largest soccer-specific stadium in the U.S. and Canada.
Welcome Back: Next Tuesday's match marks the second time Orlando City SC has visited Nashville for an MLS Playoff match. The Boys in Gold defeated the Lions in 2021 by a score of 3-1 at Nissan Stadium en route to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
ORL 41’: Wilder Cartagena gets on the end of a César Araújo ball at the top of the box and whips a shot into the top right corner of the net
- Nashville SC:
- is 1W-1L-0D at Exploria Stadium in 2023 (MLS regular season + playoffs)
- is 2W-2L-3D against Orlando City SC across all competitions when conceding first
- had 1.2 expected goals (xG) to Orlando City SC’s 1.18 xG
- had 43% of its total shots on target
- moved to 3W-3L-1D in Audi MLS Cup Playoffs
- Dan Lovitz, Hany Mukhtar, Joe Willis, and Walker Zimmerman have started every MLS Playoff Match in club history
- Aníbal Godoy led the team with 36 accurate passes (92.3% passing accuracy) and five possessions won (tied with Hany Mukhtar)
- Lukas MacNaughton made his first appearance for Nashville SC since Sept. 2, 2023 at GEODIS Park against Charlotte FC after an injury
- Jack Maher led the team with five clearances
- Hany Mukhtar led the team with five shots and three shots on target, 17 duels, seven duels won and five possessions won
- Jacob Shaffelburg led the team at 100% passing accuracy (14 of 14) and five total crosses
- Sam Surridge led the team with 0.6 expected goals (xG)
- Joe Willis
- recorded four saves on the night
- has allowed one goal or less in six of seven MLS Playoff matches in club history
- Walker Zimmerman led the team with three aerial duels won
Seventh seed Nashville SC (13W-11L-10D, 49 pts.) vs. Second seed Orlando City SC (18W-7L-9D, 63 pts.)
Oct. 30, 2023 – Exploria Stadium
ORL: Wilder Cartagena (A: César Araújo) 41’
ORL: César Araújo (Caution) 37’
ORL: Rodrigo Schlegel (Caution) 50’
NSH: Dan Lovitz (Caution) 71’
NSH: Aníbal Godoy (Caution) 90’ + 1
NSH Starters: Joe Willis; Dan Lovitz, Jack Maher, Shaq Moore (Fafá Picault 86’), Walker Zimmerman (C); Hany Mukhtar, Jacob Shaffelburg (Lukas MacNaughton 70’), Alex Muyl (Teal Bunbury 70’), Aníbal Godoy, Sean Davis (Tah Brian Anunga 86’); Sam Surridge
Substitutes: Dax McCarty, Josh Bauer, Taylor Washington, Luke Haakenson, Elliot Panicco
ORL Starters: Pedro Gallese; Rafael Santos (Kyle Smith 79’), Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, Dagur Thorhallsson; César Araújo, Mauricio Pereyra (C) (Antonio Carlos 79’), Wilder Cartagena (Junior Urso 62’), Ivan Angulo (Felipe Martins 88’); Duncan McGuire (Ramiro Enrique 79’), Facundo Torres
Substitutes: Martin Ojeda, Gaston Gonzalez, Michael Halliday, Mason Stajduhar
Referee: Armando Villarreal
AR1: Corey Rockwell
AR2: Diego Blas
4TH Official: Fotis Bazakos
VAR: Jose Carlos Rivero
AVAR: Peter Balciunas
Weather: Clear, 79 degrees