NASHVILLE (April 12, 2018) – Football and fútbol. Nashville SC got to mix both in its USL home opener a few weeks ago at Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans. On Saturday at 11 a.m., Nashville will again play at a National Football League (NFL) venue, Lucas Oil Stadium home of the Indianapolis Colts and Indy Eleven, Nashville’s USL opponent. The game will be Nashville’s only “indoor” game of the season as Indy has announced the retractable roof will be closed for the game on Saturday.
Like Nashville SC, Indy Eleven is experiencing its first season in the USL. Until this season, Indy Eleven had competed in the North American Soccer League (NASL) since its inception in 2014. With the move to the USL, Indy revamped its roster and technical staff, hiring Martin Rennie, former head coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps of MLS.
The Eleven also boast the services of numerous former MLS players including forward Jack McInerney. The 25-year-old MLS wunderkind set the MLS on fire as a youngster, scoring 41 MLS goals in 154 appearances from 2010-2016. McInerney already has one goal in his Indy Eleven account, but is coming off a missed game after a suspension.
Nashville SC continues to look better with each passing game. The improvement has shown on the scoresheet with two straight shutout victories, including a 2-0 win over previous top of the table, Charlotte Independence. No place has that improvement shown more than on offense where Nashville has generated 12 shots in each of its last two games.
Matt Pickens and the Nashville SC defense is riding a 294-minute shutout streak dating back to the teams’ season opener at Louisville City FC. The unit has secured three consecutive shutouts, tied for the most of any USL team this season.
Nashville SC head coach Gary Smith - (On if confidence is starting to show with two wins in a row)
“I think good results do that anywhere. Being able to win games and keep clean sheets will do that. Last weekend, we probably gave our most consistent and creative team performances. There is a continual improvement and development in the group. It’s a good place to be with the group we have. We will continue to improve.”
Nashville SC keeper Matt Pickens – (On three-straight clean sheets how are you and the defense playing as a unit)
“Every aspect of our game is a work in progress and defending is a top priority for us. It is important for us to set this type of defensive standard early in the season. This mentality starts and continues in our training and film sessions and is applied and tested on match day.”
Watching the East
The climb up the Eastern Conference standings has continued for Nashville SC who now sit in a three-way tie for third in the conference with 7 points in four games. A win over Indy Eleven would continue to separate Nashville from the middle of the pack in the East.
The game will be broadcast on MyTV30 locally in Nashville at 11 a.m. A digital stream of the game can be watched on the new USL digital platform, ESPN+.