NASHVILLE – The 106th U.S. Open Cup begins for Nashville Soccer Club on Tuesday night in Murfreesboro against South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 at 7:30 p.m. After a historic run ended in the Round of 16 against eventual USL Cup champs Louisville City FC, Nashville will look to recapture the magic in the 2019 Cup.
How to Follow
Last Time Out
Nashville SC set a club record with five goals in a match in a 5-1 win over Swope Park Rangers on Saturday night at First Tennessee Park. Daniel Ríos, Kharlton Belmar, Alan Winn and Cameron Lancaster all contributed goals in the rout, as Nashville’s offense clicked into place. The win boosted Nashville SC to 4th place in the Eastern Conference after 10 matches.
Scouting Tormenta FC 2
Known by its shortened name of Tormenta FC 2, the USL League Two side showed its quality in a 3-0 blitzing of USL League One side Chattanooga Red Wolves in the First Round of the Open Cup. After having practiced together less than a week, the amateur side from Statesboro, Ga. was the much better team than the pros from Chattanooga.
Forward Adrian Billhardt and midfielder Luca Mayr-Fälten drive the Tormenta offense, and both finished with a goal and an assist in the First Round win. Billhardt is a German native who currently plays collegiately at South Florida where he was named the American Athletic Conference’s Rookie of the Year following his freshman season in 2017.
Mayr-Fälten, from Austria plays at South Carolina and was the team leader last season in goals (4) and points (11). The Gamecock has also appeared for the Austrian youth national team at the U-17, U-18, and U-19 level.
Storylines to Watch
Open Cup magic – Nashville SC experienced the magic of the U.S. Open Cup last season, as one of only three USL Championship clubs to beat an MLS opponent in the tournament. Another magical run can start on Tuesday night. If Nashville were to win two Open Cup matches, it would face an MLS team again in the Fourth Round.
Murfreesboro home match – Nashville has never played a home match outside of the Music City, but will venture to Murfreesboro for the Open Cup this season. Tuesday’s match will be at Hayes Stadium on the campus of Middle Tennessee State. Murfreesboro is known for its soccer community, always hosting watch parties for Nashville SC road matches. This match will be the perfect opportunity for the ’Boro to showcase its love of soccer.
Squad depth – Nashville SC doesn’t have a big squad, only using 23 spots out of a possible 30 on its roster. That move was intentional as head coach Gary Smith wanted every player to compete for a starting spot. That depth will come into play on Tuesday as Nashville will likely rotate players against the League Two side. Keep in mind that head coach Gary Smith takes the Open Cup seriously, and last year routinely fielded strong lineups in every match.
Limited tickets available – There are only over 1,000 seats at Hayes Stadium, so tickets to the match are limited. All tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance here. Nashville SC Season Ticket Members can buy tickets in advance for $10 by calling their NSC ticket representative.