After three weeks of idling, Nashville SC is finally back.
Riding a seven-match unbeaten run, the Boys in Gold will head to Harrison, New Jersey to take on the New York Red Bulls in a Friday night clash. It’ll be the club’s first match after the lengthy international break, and its first since its thrilling 2-2 draw at Atlanta United FC on May 29.
Here’s everything you need to know about Friday’s match:
Date: Friday, June 18
Time: 6:30 p.m. CT (Pre-Match Show), 7:00 p.m. CT (Kickoff)
Location: Red Bull Arena, Harrison, N.J.
In-Market Stream: NashvilleSC.com/stream
Out-of-Market Stream: ESPN+
English Radio: ESPN 94.9
Spanish Radio: El Jefe 96.7
Juneteenth Community Watch Party with The Backline, pres. by BODYARMOR
This will be the first regular season meeting between Nashville SC and New York Red Bulls. Having coached against the Red Bulls at the USL Championship and Major League Soccer levels in the past, Head Coach Gary Smith knows what to expect from a club that implements a very particular style of play from top to bottom.
“They’ve shown time and time again that they’ve got individuals who can step up to the plate and perform very well,” Smith said. “Their style changes very little. They work through that system through their academy, USL, and into the first team, and it’s driven into them exactly what the manager and the club are after at the top level. And they perform it well. They’re very committed in the right areas. They’re very talented. And when they’re not in the right areas, they get to those areas very quickly. And if they can win the ball in those areas, they like to try and do that as well.”
And Still ...
Nashville SC is one of only two remaining unbeaten teams in MLS. The other is the defending Western Conference champion Seattle Sounders FC. The club has posted four clean sheets and has come from behind three times to earn a result.
After a few weeks to rest and recuperate, Smith says the team is in a good spot to try and keep that run going.
“The guys have been in great shape, great mental space,” Smith said. “They’ve looked buoyant, absolutely ready to go and meet the challenge. I wouldn’t have expected too much else after a fairly decent opening to the season and remaining unbeaten. We’ve got a lot to play for, and other teams have, too. We’ve got to keep this form on track if we’re going to achieve our main goal of being in the postseason.”
Muyl’s Coming Home
Nashville SC winger Alex Muyl will be in familiar surroundings come Friday night.
The former New York Red Bull and Red Bull Academy product will return to Harrison to face his former club for the first time. It will be his second trip to his former home with Nashville, as he traveled to Red Bull Arena last season to face C.F. Montréal, who were using the stadium as its U.S. base due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Muyl, a native of Manhattan, said he will have some family in the crowd to watch him play. But beyond that, he won’t be spending too much time thinking about the reception he’ll get.
“To be honest, I think the only thing that really matters is that I’m enjoying myself and having fun, and that anyone who knew me, maybe I want to show them I’m doing well,” Muyl said. “If I’m having a good time and I’m doing well, then they’ll see that and that’s all that matters. I think you get caught up in these outside things really more because you’re not okay with yourself internally, so I think for me it’s just about being comfortable and being happy inside and knowing that I’m in a place where I’m much happier and in a place that’s good for me.”