MLS: Nashville SC hope to feel right at home vs. Minnesota United
It has been a month since Nashville SC won at home — or anywhere else for that matter.
Meanwhile, Minnesota United likely needs to improve their recent defensive play in order to avoid a third straight result without a victory.
Nashville SC look to halt their season-high five-game winless rut when they host Minnesota on Sunday night.
The last time Nashville (8-8-9, 33 points) won an MLS game was July 13 at home against the Seattle Sounders. Since then, the club has gone 0-2-3. Perhaps more concerning, Nashville is 0-2-1 at home since that victory.
Since going 24 consecutive home games without a defeat, Nashville SC have gone 1-2-2 in their own venue. They are just 3-3-5 this season in their new state-of-the-art stadium.
“We have to find a way, of course, to making this arena as difficult to play in as we did (at former home) Nissan Stadium, and it may take a little bit of time,” Nashville coach Gary Smith said.
Although Nashville SC finds itself in a rut, they should feel confident after snapping a stretch of one goal in six straight games with last weekend’s 4-3 home loss to Toronto FC. Nashville star Hany Mukhtar recorded his team-leading 13th MLS goal and had two assists, while teammate Teal Bunbury scored in his fourth consecutive game.
Mukhtar assisted on C.J. Sapong’s goal during Nashville’s 1-1 draw at Minnesota in March. Hassani Dotson, out since late April with an ACL injury, recorded the equalizer in that match for Minnesota United (10-9-5, 35 points), who have totaled seven goals in their last two games.
But the Loons have conceded eight goals in two games after playing to a draw against Portland on July 30 and losing at Colorado 4-3 last weekend after owning a 14-7 goal-advantage during a 5-0-1 stretch.
After playing shorthanded last weekend, Minnesota is expected to have leading scorer Emanuel Reynoso (nine MLS goals), Robin Lod (six goals) and defender Michael Boxall available upon return from their yellow-card suspensions.
“Everybody looks fit. We’ve got guys back again,” Minnesota coach Adrian Heath said. “We’ve got a huge 10, 11 games coming up, and every game is going to count.”
–Field Level Media