First preseason match slated for Thursday afternoon at IMG Academy
BRADENTON, Fla. – Nashville SC will hit another milestone on Thursday when it plays its first-ever preseason friendly as an MLS club against Swedish top-tier side IF Elfsborg.
The match will mark the first time that the Boys in Gold take the pitch together against outside competition and will offer a unique chance to get everyone on the roster involved in competitive play.
Here’s everything you need to know about Thursday’s friendly.
Tale of the Tape
Opponent: IF Elfsborg
When: 2 p.m. CT
Where: IMG Academy, Bradenton, FL
Format: Three 30-minute periods with lineup changes in between each period
Coverage: The friendly is closed to the public and will not be streamed. Follow Nashville SC on all social media platforms for complete coverage.
What to Watch For
Ready for Action – The Boys in Gold have spent the last 10-plus days scrimmaging within their own squad. On Thursday, they’ll get their first chance to take on actual opposition, which will be a welcomed change among the group.
“Just to be kicking other players that aren’t wearing Nashville colors, I think that’s great,” defender Dan Lovitz said. “I think I speak for the group, everyone’s getting a little tired of kicking each other and we’re looking forward to putting our work against another form of opposition and in a game format that’s something we’re going to start layering into our preseason work. We know we have a full slate in February gearing up for the first game of the MLS season. It’s nice to have this week and a half behind us and to start looking forward to competition and starting to get to work in that aspect.”
Making Progress – In a short amount of time, Head Coach Gary Smith has covered a lot of ground with his players. Between training ground time and intense video sessions, Smith and his staff have laid some of the foundations for the rest of preseason and the regular season.
It’s not a finished product yet, but this preseason match is a perfect opportunity for the players to demonstrate their progress in some particular aspects of the game.
“I’d like to see one or two things that we’ve looked at in the last two weeks just showing themselves a little bit,” Smith said. “We haven’t covered every aspect of the game. It would be crazy to throw generic work out. We’ve tried to be strategic about our work, so therefore I’d love to see some of that come out in the game. Secondly, it is a training game, and it’s part of the process of getting ready for the 29th. So I’d love to see a decent workload out of those players and we can monitor the ground that they’ve covered and how their bodies are taking on that first 30 minutes of competitive work. And of course if there’s some confidence to come out of it in those areas, the more the better. I think the thing that we’re looking for most is a nice picture of where we’re at now and a healthy group moving forward.”
Follow all of Thursday’s action from IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL on Nashville SC’s social media channels.