Orlando City

Intelligence Report: Orlando City vs. Nashville SC

Get an inside look at Nashville SC before Orlando City travels to Tennessee for Game 2 of the first-round playoff series.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Orlando City doesn’t play its second game of the playoffs until Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be sending an Intelligence Report your way as usual. As you know, the Lions will face a familiar opponent next week when they travel to Tennessee to take on Nashville SC and try to put the best-of-three series away in two games.

As is customary when OCSC plays Nashville, I spoke to Ben Wright of Broadway Sports. For this particular conversation, we spoke about the mood surrounding Nashville after Game 1, and what we should expect from the home side tactically during Game 2.

While there might be some frustration regarding Nashville not capitalizing on two very good chances, I would imagine that fans will feel reasonably good about the upcoming game, given that the first one easily could have gone Nashville’s way. Is that the case?

Ben Wright: Probably. Obviously, Orlando controlled most of the game and won, but I think you can make a strong argument that Nashville created the two best chances of the game. Particularly Sam Surridge’s chance early should have been converted, and if Nashville had taken an early lead, everything changes. The loss is certainly frustrating, but Nashville went to one of the best teams in MLS, kept it close, and lost to a world-class finish. It’s not that bleak.

You highlighted Dax McCarty’s importance before Game 1, and his absence certainly seemed to affect Nashville in the way you said it would. If he can’t go on Tuesday, do you think Gary Smith will try anything different tactically to mitigate his loss?

BW: I think he’ll be able to go Tuesday. You’ve seen the options without him, and without signing a new player (a huge priority in the off-season), there’s no way around it.

With this being a must-win game for Nashville, do you think we’ll see the home side try to dominate possession and dictate play? Or do you expect Gary Smith to have his men stick to the defensively-minded play that’s gotten them to the postseason?

BW: Nashville rarely dominates possession, but at home they’re great at controlling where the other team has the ball, and they’re lethal on the counter. I wouldn’t necessarily call it defensive minded, as it prioritizes being dangerous in transition. I think the main difference is that Nashville should create more chances at home.

Will any players be unavailable for selection? What is your projected starting lineup and score prediction?

BW: Everyone should be available. Randall Leal didn’t play on Monday, but I expect he’ll at least be in the squad.

Here’s the lineup I’m going with (4-4-2): Joe Willis; Daniel Lovitz, Jack Maher, Walker Zimmerman, Shaq Moore; Fafà Picault, Anibal Godoy, Dax McCarty, Alex Muyl; Hany Mukhtar, Sam Surridge.

I’m going with a 2-0 Nashville win.

Thank you to Ben for the insight into Nashville SC. Vamos Orlando!


Exit mobile version