Walkout NSC ATL 2.29.20

Preview: Nashville SC hits the road to face the Portland Timbers in first MLS road trip

NASHVILLE – Nashville Soccer Club is back in action this weekend, hitting the road to take on the Portland Timbers at 6 p.m. CT on Sunday. The match comes at an arduous time for the club, the city of Nashville and Middle Tennessee after the devastating tornado that hit our community on Tuesday morning.  

Nashville Soccer Club and the Portland Timbers will join forces on Sunday night to raise funds in support of the relief efforts by wearing a commemorative ‘Never Give Up On You’ patch on their jerseys, which will then be auctioned.

Nashville’s first road match in its Major League Soccer history puts the Boys in Gold in the national spotlight for the second consecutive week as Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman call the action for ESPN. The match, which will also be broadcast live in Spanish on ESPN Deportes, comes in one of the most raucous atmospheres in the league at Providence Park.

NSC will look to build on a solid debut performance that saw them knock in a goal against Atlanta United FC and dominate stretches of play in terms of possession.

Nashville SC voices John Freeman, Jamie Watson and Lori Lindsey will also call the match from Providence Park for those local fans interested in tuning into ESPN 94.9 Game 2 Radio.

The Basics

Kickoff Time: 6 p.m. CT
Venue: Providence Park
TV: ESPN & ESPN Deportes (Spanish)
Radio: ESPN 94.9 Game 2
Web Stream: WatchESPN App

Last Time Out

Nashville SC played Atlanta United FC to a 2-1 loss at Nissan Stadium last Saturday night in the club’s MLS debut in front of a record-breaking crowd of 59,069. Ezequiel Barco scored the first goal for Atlanta on a lightning-quick counterattack in the eighth minute, but Nashville responded with its first goal in club history. Walker Zimmerman got on the end of a Hany Mukhtar free kick and toe poked it into the net to even things up in the 29’ minute. Emerson Hyndman put Atlanta back in front for good before halftime, but Nashville took its attack to Atlanta in the second half, possessing the ball and searching for scoring opportunities. None found the back of the net, but Nashville laid the foundation of a playing style and attack that can continue into the rest of the season.

Know Your Enemy: Portland Timbers

The Portland Timbers have consistently been one of the strongest clubs in MLS since joining the league nine seasons ago. Last season, the Timbers used a phenomenal second-half stretch to propel themselves into the MLS Cup Playoffs, but a late winner in the first round by Real Salt Lake ended the Timbers’ run prematurely. This season, Portland has added a number of pieces to their attack, including veteran Sebastian Blanco and newcomer Yimmi Chara, who will be needed to replace the offensive firepower of Brian Fernandez, who left in the offseason. In their first match of 2020, the Timbers fell to Minnesota United FC 3-1 thanks to three second-half goals by the Loons, including two in two minutes to seal the match in the 76’ and 78’ minutes.

Storylines to Watch

Building an Attack – Nashville SC pegged a goal off of a set piece in the first half of last Saturday’s match, but also found ways to create chances in the run of play throughout the second half. While the final finishing touch wasn’t there, Nashville’s attackers know the best is yet to come.

"More games is what it takes,” forward Dominique Badji said. “I’ll tell you after a couple more games, then you will really see what we have to offer. You saw glimpses of it [during Saturday’s match], but we’ve got so much more to offer."

Road Trip – This match will be Nashville’s first road match as an MLS club, and it will take place in one of the most intimidating environments in the league. The Timbers will look to recuperate their distinct home field advantage in MLS, which saw its worst home run since 2014 last season. Following the Timbers’ home loss to Minnesota United last Sunday, it will be up to the Boys in Gold to dictate the match and silence Providence Park once again.

NGUOY: Never Give Up On You – Nashville SC will take the pitch on Sunday for the first time since Tuesday’s devastating tornado that impacted thousands of Middle Tennesseans. The club continues to raise funds for the Community Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund at NashvilleSC.com/NGUOY, and the players will wear a special “Never Give Up On You” patch on their jerseys to honor the lives lost and the strength of our city to pull through this tragedy. Learn more about how to support here.