NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 6, 2023) – Nashville Soccer Club earned a 3-0 victory over Chicago Fire FC on Saturday night in front of 28,611 fans at GEODIS Park. Reigning MLS MVP Hany Mukhtar scored his third career hat trick, second against Chicago Fire FC.
Off a corner kick, midfielder Dax McCarty was brought down in the box for Nashville SC’s first penalty which Mukhtar converted in stoppage time of the first half [WATCH].
The second penalty was earned after Mukhtar sent a pass down the flank to Jacob Shaffelburg, who took his defender inside the 18 before ultimately being dragged down. Mukhtar converted his second penalty in the second half [WATCH], before wrapping up his hat trick evening with a goal in stoppage time [WATCH].
Captain Mukhtar: Mukhtar wore the captain’s armband for the first time in his career at GEODIS Park, second time overall (also, Aug. 27, 2022, at Vancouver Whitecaps FC). The German has now scored six total goals in two career matches against the Fire, both of them being hat tricks. Mukhtar’s first hat trick made history as he scored the fastest hat-trick in MLS history in the span of six minutes (10’, 13’, 16’) in a 5-1 victory on July 17, 2021.
Goals All Around: Nashville SC has now tied its season-high for goals scored in a match in back-to-back weeks, following the three goals scored last week against MLS rival Atlanta United FC.
Joe Reaches 100 Appearances For Nashville: Goalkeeper Joe Willis became the first Nashville SC player in club history to reach 100 MLS regular season appearances with his start tonight. Willis has started in all but two 102 regular season matches in the club’s history. Willis recorded his sixth shutout of the season, tied with Seattle Sounders FC’s Stefan Frei for the league lead.
Personal Record For Head Coach Gary Smith: Head Coach Gary Smith set a new personal record for most wins at an MLS club with his 44th victory tonight, across MLS regular season, postseason and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Smith surpassed his previous record of 43 set with the Colorado Rapids from 2008-11.
Next Match Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup: Nashville SC will return to GEODIS Park on Wednesday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. CT to take on FC Dallas in the Round of 32 of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Tickets are available by visiting www.NashvilleSC.com/Tickets.
NSH 45’ + 2: Hany Mukhtar sends a ball flying past Chicago Fire FC’s goalkeeper to convert a penalty kick
NSH 70’: Hany Mukhtar converts a second penalty kick, sending the ball into the lower left corner of the net
NSH 90 +1: Hany Mukhtar scores off a deflection by Chicago Fire FC’s goalkeeper
· Nashville SC:
o is 2W-0L-2D all-time against Chicago Fire FC
o has outscored Chicago Fire FC 9-2 in series history
o has allowed the fewest goals in MLS with six (LAFC has allowed the second fewest goals with seven in two fewer matches played)
o drew and converted its first two penalty kicks of the season
o outshot Chicago Fire 14-0 in the first half
o has not lost when scoring first since Aug. 8, 2021
o owns a 5W-0L-1D record this season and a 35W-4L-15D record historically when scoring first
o is 29W-1L-8D when scoring two or more goals all-time
o is 26W-1L-10D all-time when leading at the half and is unbeaten in its last 35 matches when leading at the half (25W-0L-10D)
o is 14W-1L-0D all-time when scoring three or more goals in an MLS match
o has not conceded a first half goal in 10 of 11 matches, leading the league
· Teal Bunbury made his 348th career regular season appearance
· Ján Gregušmade his 96th career regular season appearance
· Jack Maher made his 50th career MLS regular season start
· Dax McCarty made his 498th career regular season appearance and 402nd career regular season start
· Hany Mukhtar
- has led Nashville to a 2W-0L-0D record and a plus six goal differential as Captain
- has scored or assisted in four consecutive MLS matches
- has contributed to 80 of Nashville SC’s total 144 goals in club history
· Alex Muyl made his 201st career regular season appearance
· Joe Willis
- earned his 55th career shutout
- ended the contest sitting fourth in the league with 37 saves
- recorded his sixth shoutout of the season, his 37th with Nashville SC
Nashville SC (5W-3L-3D, 18 pts.) vs. Chicago Fire FC (2W-3L-5D,11 pts.)
May 6, 2023 – GEODIS Park
NSH: Hany Mukhtar (Penalty) 45’ +2
NSH: Hany Mukhtar (Penalty) 70’
NSH: Hany Mukhtar 90’ +1 (Unassisted)
NSH: Dan Lovitz (caution) 29’
CHI: Georgios Koutsias (caution) 36’
CHI: Wyatt Omsberg (caution) 52’
NSH: Teal Bunbury (caution) 56’
NSH: Shaq Moore (caution) 77’
NSH Starters: Joe Willis; Dan Lovitz, Lukas MacNaughton (Taylor Washington, 63’), Jack Maher, Shaq Moore; Dax McCarty (Ján Greguš,75’), Hany Mukhtar (C), Teal Bunbury (Ethan Zubak, 63’), Jacob Shaffelburg (Fafà Picault, 79’), Aníbal Godoy (Sean Davis, 75’), Alex Muyl
Substitutes: Elliot Panicco, Josh Bauer, Luke Haakenson, Tah Brian Anunga
CHI Starters: Chris Brady; Daniel Aceves, Rafael Czichos (C) (Maren Haile-Selassie, 21’), Wyatt Omsberg, Jonathan Dean, Kendall Burks; Xherdan Shaqiri, Fabian Herbers (Gaston Gimenez, 45’), Federico Navarro; Kacper Przybylko (Kei Kamara, 63’), Gergios Koutsias
Substitutes: Arnaud Souquet, Miguel Navarro, Brian Gutierrez, Spencer Richey, Mauricio Pineda
Referee: Mark Allatin
Ar1: Jason White
Ar2: Meghan Mullen
4th Official: Ismir Pekmic
VAR: Jose Carlos Rivero
AVAR: Tyler Wyrostek
Weather: Clear, 77 Degrees