Nashville SC (8W-2L-11D, 35 pts) returns home for a Friday night clash under the lights of Nissan Stadium against fellow Eastern Conference contender New York City FC (10W-6L-4D, 34 pts).
The Boys in Gold sit tied for second in the East and are riding the longest active home unbeaten streak in Major League Soccer. Last week, they earned a decisive 2-0 victory on the road at Atlanta United FC. Now, they return home to face a NYCFC side that sits just one point behind Nashville in the standings, but has not won a match on the road since May 29.
Friday’s match will also serve as the club’s Kick Childhood Cancer Night. As part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Nashville SC, along with MLS WORKS – Major League Soccer’s social responsibility platform – and Continental Tire are teaming up to raise awareness of pediatric cancers and fundraise for childhood cancer research. Click here for more information on all the Kick Childhood Cancer initiatives happening at Friday’s match.
Here’s everything you need to know about Friday’s matchup:
Date: Friday, Sept. 3
Time: 6:30 p.m. CT
Location: Nissan Stadium
Tickets: Click Here
Local Stream: NashvilleSC.com/stream
Out-of-Market Stream: ESPN+
English Radio: ESPN 94.9
Spanish Radio: El Jefe 96.7
NOTE: For local fans, Friday's match will be shown exclusively on our website at NashvilleSC.com/stream.
Standings Stalemate – Nashville SC and NYCFC are separated in the standings by just one point as both teams look to secure top-four positioning and a guaranteed home match in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
Head Coach Gary Smith says this is a big opportunity to show his team can compete with other top teams in the East.
“On any given day, I think we can safely say that New York and New England are fighting it out for the two very best groups in this Eastern Conference,” Smith said. “It’s our opportunity to challenge that. Our home form has been decent and players are in a confident place. We’ve got some changes, but I’m confident in our group, and this is a wonderful challenge for us. We want to pit ourselves against the very best in the league. We’ve shown that we are capable of performing against those types of teams, and this is just another one of those challenges.”
Stepping Up – Nashville SC will be without four players for this match due to World Cup Qualifying: Walker Zimmerman (U.S.), Alistair Johnston (Canada), Randall Leal (Costa Rica) and Aníbal Godoy (Panama).
The team has been without each of those players at some point this season due to international duty, and their teammates have stepped up in their absence before. Smith says he’s confident in his squad depth going into this match.
“I have every confidence in the guys we have in our group,” Smith said. “We have a strong roster, we have players that are experienced and they’ve seen these situations before. In some cases, they’ve played against the teams that we’re running into. There’ll be all sorts of different reasons why some of our squad players that will play in this game will look forward to it.”
No Place Like Home - The Boys in Gold have four home matches remaining in the regular season. Through 13 home matches so far in 2021, Nashville is undefeated at home.
Goalkeeper Joe Willis says it’s crucial to earn as many points as possible at home.
“We need to take full advantage,” Willis said. “We understand that we have a road-heavy remainder of the schedule, so we need to take advantage of it while we can. We need to win these games. It’s three points or nothing for us at this point as far as home games go, especially against a team like New York City when they’re really close to us in the standings. This is a huge game; a six-pointer as people like to say. We know what we have done in the past at home, so we need to continue to do the same things.”