Saturday Night Soccer is back at Nissan Stadium.
Nashville SC is set to play its fifth home match in a row this Saturday when it hosts Chicago Fire FC at 7:30 p.m. CT. The Boys in Gold will look to continue their home unbeaten run that has stretched to 10 matches overall. They’ll try to do it against a Chicago side that has won its last two matches but has yet to win a road match so far this season.
Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s match:
Date: Saturday, July 17
Time: 7:30 p.m. CT
Location: Nissan Stadium
Tickets: Click Here
English Radio: ESPN 94.9
Spanish Radio: El Jefe 96.7
Closing out the Homestand – Nashville SC earned two wins and two draws in the first four matches of its June/July stretch at home. Those results were good enough to propel Nashville up to fifth in the Eastern Conference with a two-point cushion above the playoff line.
While Head Coach Gary Smith says he would have liked to win all four matches, he says he’s looking forward to continuing the team’s good form at home.
“I feel as though we’re in a good groove at home,” Smith said. “I think there’s a good feel, and there should be. We’ve had a long run of home games, and whilst we would have liked to have taken advantage of the previous games, we can only ever look forward. We have a great opportunity against what I would class as a playoff rival. Yes, they started slowly, but they’re certainly one of the in-form teams, and it’s important that we get a very positive result against them on the weekend, and we keep ourselves in the hunt for those top spots in the Eastern conference.”
Stepping Up – Nashville will continue to be without defenders Walker Zimmerman and Alistair Johnston for this match while they play with their national teams in the Concacaf Gold Cup. However, captain Dax McCarty sees the coming weeks as an opportunity for more players to step up in their absence.
“There are no excuses for any team to say, ‘we’re missing one, two, three, four of our best players so that’s an excuse for us to drop a level.’” McCarty said. “Everyone is on the same playing field when it comes to losing players, some more than others, but we have a lot of faith in our depth. Jack Maher is a perfect example of a young player who didn’t play hardly at all last year who came into preseason with higher expectations for himself and from the team. You can see he’s starting to deliver on some of the promise which made him be selected as high as he was in the SuperDraft and the faith that our staff is putting in him. So, another very important couple of weeks for those guys and hopefully they can continue to solidify themselves because it obviously makes Gary’s job tougher when it comes to team selection.”
Windy City to Music City – Nashville SC is expecting a tough test from the Fire, who come into this match having won its last two home matches while scoring a combined nine goals in its last three matches.
The last time these two teams faced off, they played to a 1-1 draw on Halloween last season at Nissan Stadium. Smith says he sees similarities between the Fire’s form last season and how they’re entering Saturday’s match.
“Last year, they were playing very well,” Smith said. “They were looking extremely positive when they came to Nissan Stadium last year, and strangely enough they’re in a very similar spot when they come to us this year. They must be buoyed and confident by the recent games they’ve played. They’ve got the majority of their senior and effective talent on the roster available to play. It will be a tough game, there’s no doubt about it.”