2022.02.27 @ SEA-7 (1)

The rain was pounding. The Rave Green supporters were singing. The artificial turf was slick.  

None of that mattered in the end on Sunday night as Nashville SC earned a statement 1-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC at Lumen Field.  

With adverse conditions in an adverse environment, Head Coach Gary Smith said his team’s willpower shined through in the win.  

“This group of players, not just the guys that you’re seeing on the field, they’re great characters,” Smith said. “They’ve got great determination and terrific will. That counts for an awful lot when you’re on the road. There are so many things to contend with: away crowd, quality teams, and front-foot approach from these teams. There’s plenty that we’ve got to try and work our way through, and we will continue to have to do that. And there’ll be times when we’re on the back foot and we’re in big trouble. But you find out a lot about people when you’re in that position, and it can only stand us in good stead as we move forward.” 

The lone goal of the match came in the 80’ minute from midfielder Aníbal Godoy. Randall Leal won the ball in the air outside the box, moved down the right flank and laid a perfect low cross across the box to Godoy, who darted into the box and hammered home the goal.  

Godoy started this match alongside his usual midfield partner Dax McCarty, as well as newcomer Sean Davis. The Panamanian international said he liked the way the trio played in their first match together.  

“Sean is an amazing player,” Godoy said. “He’s working hard, runs a lot. Dax, everybody already knows he’s a guy who is a really good player. He’s the other warrior. This guy always, with or without the ball, puts the calm in the team on both sides of the field, and Sean also. It’s a good shape for all three in the middle.” 

Sunday’s win was the first of eight matches on the road to start 2022 before the club’s brand-new stadium opens on May 1. Smith says a win on opening weekend, the first in the club’s MLS history, will help lay the foundation for the rest of the road tour.  

“This precise moment, it’s a great start,” Smith said. “It’s a confidence boost, and it’s a great feeling for the players. With a long eight-game road stretch, it was always important to try to get the first win on the board, and I’m truly grateful that it’s come tonight. But I don’t think that we can get beyond ourselves here. It’s early in the season, we’ve seen some good foundational pieces.” 

Nashville SC’s next test comes on Saturday at Minnesota United FC. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. CT. Click here for broadcast information.