NASHVILLE – Six matches left. Five at home. Four at First Tennessee Park. Three points incredibly important in each of them. At this point, it’s a numbers game for Nashville Soccer Club to clinch a playoff spot and potentially a home playoff match. The final stretch begins on Tuesday night against Birmingham Legion FC at First Tennessee Park at 7 p.m.
How to Follow
Local Television: MyTV30 with John Freeman and Jamie Watson
Digital Stream: ESPN+
English Radio: ESPN 94.9 Game 2 with Wes Boling and Max Herz
Spanish Radio: El Jefe 96.7 with Alexis Martinez and Manfred Villalobos
Social Media: @NashvilleSC on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook
Last Time Out
It will be 10 days between matches for Nashville SC when it takes the pitch against Birmingham Legion FC. On September 7, Nashville suffered a 1-0 loss at Saint Louis FC in the Gateway City. A 77’ minute goal by Russell Cicerone doomed Nashville to its first loss in three matches.
Scouting Birmingham Legion
While Nashville SC is fighting for a home playoff match, Birmingham is trying to ensure itself it makes the postseason in its inaugural campaign. Similar to Nashville last season, Birmingham is built as a defensive-minded team. A recent run of six consecutive matches without allowing a goal came close to breaking the all-time USL Championship record for a shutout streak and vaulted the Legion into the playoff conversation. Since that streak began on July 13, Birmingham has not lost, going 7-0-2 in its last nine matches and allowing a total of three goals in those nine matches. Goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel, a Championship veteran, has been a big reason for Legion FC’s defensive success with nine clean sheets in 2019.
Storylines to Watch
Take Advantage of the Crowd – Nashville still controls its own destiny in the chase for a top four spot in the Eastern Conference and a home playoff match. Wins in its final six matches would guarantee a top four finish, but the club will need to take advantage of playing at home in five of its final six matches. Nashville is 3-1-1 in its last five home matches. Against tough competition, the Boys in Gold will need to feed off the crowd to secure results.
Birmingham Makes First Trip to Music City – Nashville SC and Birmingham Legion FC have already met twice this year, once in preseason and once in USL Championship play, but the sides have never met in Nashville. Both previous matchups were at BBVA Field in the Magic City, with Nashville winning the preseason contest 3-0 and earning all three points back in May with a 1-0 win. Nashville will look for the sweep in Legion FC’s first visit to Nashville on Tuesday night.
Finding Magic – Nashville SC’s last touch at First Tennessee Park came off the boot of Bolu Akinyode and into the net to cap a magical 2-1 win over Charleston Battery at the death on August 24. With five matches left at home, there are sure to be more magical moments as Nashville closes in on a second consecutive playoff berth. Don’t miss any of them. Nashville SC is running a ticket special for the two home matches in the month of September. Fans can purchase tickets starting at $11 per match.