Nashville SC (11W-3L-15D, 48 pts) is back within the friendly confines of Nissan Stadium on Wednesday night for a matchup against 2020 MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew (10W-12L-7D, 37 pts).
The Boys in Gold are unbeaten in their last five matches and remain unbeaten at home this season as they return home for their second-to-last home match of the regular season. Nashville sits in second place in the Eastern Conference and will be looking to take another step towards locking in a playoff spot on Wednesday.
We're celebrating our fans on Wednesday for Fan Appreciation Night. There will be giveaways throughout the match, special merchandise items, and the 2021 Nashville SC Team Poster as a gift with purchase at any Fanatics location.
Here’s everything you need to know about Wednesday’s match:
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 20
Time: 7:30 p.m. CT
Location: Nissan Stadium
Stream: Click Here
English Radio: ESPN 94.9
Spanish Radio: El Jefe 96.7
Self Care – Nashville SC remains in a tight race for home field advantage in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, sitting in second place and two points above third-place Philadelphia Union. The top four teams in the Eastern Conference are guaranteed at least one home match in the playoffs.
With just five matches remaining in the regular season, Head Coach Gary Smith says the team’s focus must remain inward amid the chaos in the standings.
“We need to focus on us,” Smith said. “We’ve worked incredibly hard to get ourselves in a good position in the table. To maintain that position will mean we need to add a particular amount of points to the board. It’s irrelevant to who we play or where we play: we need a particular amount of points. There’ll be certain situations that I’ll appreciate that and so will the players, and there might be a slightly different look to that.”
Home Boost – Nashville SC is the only remaining team in MLS with an unbeaten home record, earning eight wins and seven draws so far this season.
Smith says the team needs to channel that home form once again with the defending MLS Cup Champions in town, and his potential lineup choices may reflect that desire.
“We have the champions coming to our home ground on Wednesday,” Smith said. “At home, we’ve been purposeful, we’ve been difficult to play against, and we’ve got a good home crowd. They give us an energy and a shot in the arm that all home teams need. Maybe there’ll be a different look to the team. Maybe there’ll be one or two different players. Maybe I’ll play with three forwards – I’m not sure yet.”
Scouting the Champs – Columbus Crew enters this match having won four of its last six matches as the team makes a final push towards playoff qualification. Led by U.S. Men’s National Team forward Gyasi Zardes (nine goals) and 2020 MLS Cup MVP Lucas Zelarayán (seven goals, four assists), the Crew present a uniquely talented attacking front.
Earlier this season, Nashville earned a point on the road at Columbus on July 21 in a 0-0 draw. The result was part of a nine-match unbeaten run for the Boys in Gold through the heat of the summer.
Defender Jack Maher says Columbus will be a challenging opponent.
“They’ve got a really good team,” Maher said. “I think we’re going to really have to be ready for all of the guys they have. Whether it’s [Darlington] Nagbe, [Gyasi] Zardes or [Lucas] Zelarayán, all these guys are just really good players. They’re going to be a tall task for us, but I think we’re going to be ready.”