NASHVILLE – Coming off a successful road swing that featured results against two of the best home teams in the USL, Nashville SC is riding high. First came a 1-1 draw against Charleston Battery who was 4-1-1 at home and riding a nine-game unbeaten streak. Then on Wednesday, an early season-defining 1-0 win over Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, handing the host its first loss of the season.
The 12-game gauntlet to start the season is almost over as Nashville gets its first home game of four in the month of June against Penn FC on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at First Tennessee Park.
Penn FC is currently sitting in 13th place in the USL Eastern Conference Standings, with its 2-3-5 record earning them 11 points. Saturday’s game can be expected to be another defensive matchup as Penn has recorded five clean sheets and conceded just seven goals this season. The last time Penn was on the pitch, the squad took on the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, where the two sides played to a 0-0 draw in Steel City.
Penn FC has struggled offensively this season, only putting 27 shots on target to net six goals. Nashville will need to shut down Tommy Heinemann who has produced most of the offense for Penn, netting half of the club’s goals. Penn has struggled on the road this season, earning just one victory away from its home field when it defeated Toronto FC II early in May. Penn will look to utilize its fresh legs as the squad has played just two games in the last 23 days.
Nashville SC will finally return home to the friendly confines of First Tennessee Park after playing seven of its first 10 USL games on the road. Nashville is locked in at First Tennessee Park. In its two true home games at the park, Nashville has beaten No. 1 Louisville City and No. 5 Charlotte Independence by identical 2-0 scores. Taking into account the 0-0 home draw against No. 4 Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Nissan Stadium, Nashville has yet to allow a goal at home in USL play.
Nashville has relied heavily on their stout defense and the great play of Matt Pickets between the posts. Pickens recorded his sixth clean sheet of the season earlier this week which is tied for the most of any keeper in the league. Nashville is riding a seven-game unbeaten streak heading into Saturday’s match. The rematch with Penn will mark the third rematch of the season for Nashville which bodes well for the team. Nashville has defeated its opponents in both rematches of this young season.
Head coach Gary Smith - “We are all very excited to be back at home. Not only our form, but the quality of our play at First Tennessee Park has been spot on. We have shown quality in possession and patience and have created chances. The guys look more and more comfortable as we make First Tennessee a bit of a fortress. We are bound to have one or two changes, but as we have seen with the rotation lately, the squad is more than capable. We will need some creation and invention and individual abilities. Penn will sit deep and try to hit us on the counter attack. We will have to show some patience.”
Watching the East
Nashville SC earned three crucial points after its road victory on Wednesday to propel them upward in the USL Eastern Conference Standings. The club now sits in eighth place, putting themselves in playoff position after an incredibly tough schedule to date. Nashville has earned 16 points in just 10 games, averaging 1.6 points per game played.
Season Ticket Update
There are fewer than 10 season tickets remaining to see Nashville SC in its inaugural USL season, and they come with a ton of perks. Season Ticket Members will have priority when it comes to MLS tickets, Gold Cup tickets and tickets to the U.S/Mexico friendly in Nashville. All STMs also receive 10% off all Nashville SC merchandise purchased online and in the team store.
Any season ticket purchased, including Standing Room Only season tickets, will come with a guaranteed lower bowl seat to see Nashville SC take on FC Cincinnati and postgame fireworks at Nissan Stadium on July 7. To become a Season Ticket Member, visit NashvilleSC.com/seasontickets or call a ticket representative at (615) 457-8200.
The game on Saturday will be broadcast locally on MyTV30 and will be available to stream via ESPN+. An English radio broadcast will air on ESPN Radio 94.9 Game2 and a Spanish broadcast can be found on 96.7 El Jefe. Fans can also follow @NashvilleSC on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updates.