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Nashville SC Falls 2-1 at Sporting Kansas City Down a Man

October 12, 2020 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Nashville SC News Release

Kansas City, Kan. - After going down a man in the 54th minute, Nashville SC (4W-6L-6D, 18 pts.) fell 2-1 to Sporting Kansas City (9W-5L-2D, 29 pts.) on Sunday night at Children's Mercy Park. Nashville SC took an early lead on a towering header by defender Walker Zimmerman off of a corner from winger Randall Leal in the 15th minute. A strong second half from Sporting KC gave them all three points.

Just a minute before the ejection of Alistair Johnston due to a second yellow card, SKC equalized on a tap-in from left-winger Gerso after a slaloming dribble from right-winger Johnny Russell.

Head Coach Gary Smith had to adjust his team being down a man, leading to 2020 MLS SuperDraft pick Jack Maher's Major League Soccer debut.

NSC's tough defense could not prevent forward Erik Hurtado from finding the back of the net as he vollied left-back Amadou Dia's pinpoint cross over goalkeeper Joe Willis in the 79th minute.

Set-Piece Expertise: Randall Leal combined with Zimmerman early in the match to create Nashville's sixth set-piece goal of the season. The centerback rose above the rest to meet Leal's perfect delivery in the box and head the ball past goalkeeper Tim Melia.

Abu Danladi Stars in Attack: following his return from injury as a sub in Tuesday's match against Minnesota United FC, Abu Danladi started tonight for the first time since Sept. 12. He took three shots and successfully stretched SKC's backline to create space for his supporting midfielders.

Match Timeline

NSH - Walker Zimmerman (Randall Leal) 15': Leal plays an outswinging corner into the box for Zimmerman to run and jump up to meet. Zimmerman heads it off the underside of the crossbar and into the net to open the scoring.

SKC - Gerso (Johnny Russell) 53': Russell races down the right side of Nashville's box, onto the endline, and cuts it back to the center of the box for Gerso, who found space on the six-yard box to tap in the goal.

NSH - Alistair Johnston red card 54': Johnston clips the heel of midfielder Gianluca Busio as he runs with the ball towards the Nashville penalty area. Referee Fotis Bazakos gives the Canadian his second yellow card of the night and a subsequent red card for the infraction.

SKC - Erik Hurtado (Amadou Dia) 79': Dia gets the ball in space on the left flank and plays an early cross into the box for Hurtado. Hurtado finds separation from the defense, catches the ball on his right foot, and lifts it over Joe Willis with a well-placed volley.


The first meeting in MLS history between Nashville SC and Sporting Kansas City.

Walker Zimmerman became the second multi-goal scorer in MLS for Nashville SC with his 15th-minute goal. His streak of playing every minute of every MLS match this season came to an end when he was substituted out in the 64th minute.

Joe Willis and Dave Romney are the only two players in Nashville's roster to have played every minute in 2020.

Dax McCarty made his 400th appearance in MLS regular season and postseason competition.

Defender Jack Maher made his MLS debut when he subbed on in the 76th minute.

Defender Eric Miller made his first appearance since March 8, 2020 against the Portland Timbers.

Nashville SC received its first red card in MLS when Alistair Johnston got his second yellow in the 54th minute.

Derrick Jones is one appearance away from tying his career high for appearances in a season.

Up Next

Nashville SC travels to Houston, Texas on Wednesday, Oct. 14 to take on the Houston Dynamo. The match kicks off at 7:00 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on MyTV30, ESPN 94.9 and El Jefe.


Nashville SC (4W-6L-6D, 18 pts.) vs. Sporting Kansas City (9W-5L-2D, 29 pts.)

Oct. 11, 2020 - Children's Mercy Park, Kansas City, Kan.

Final Score



Scoring Summary

NSH: Zimmerman (Leal), 15'

SKC: Gerso (Russell), 53'; Hurtado (Dia), 79'


NSH: Johnston (caution),12'; Lovitz (caution), 38'; Johnston (second caution/red card), 54'; Jones (caution), 76'

SKC: Sánchez (caution), 52'


NSH: Joe Willis; Dan Lovitz, Dave Romney, Walker Zimmerman (Jalil Anibaba, 64'), Alistair Johnston; Dax McCarty, Tah Brian Anunga (Matt LaGrassa, 76'), Alex Muyl (Eric Miller, 60'), Derrick Jones (Jack Maher, 76'), Abu Danladi (Taylor Washington, 60'), Randall Leal

Unused Substitutes: Elliot Panicco, Brayan Beckeles, Hany Mukhtar, Alan Winn

TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Danladi, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Leal, 2); FOULS: 13 (Leal, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 4; POSSESSION: 39.4%

SKC: Tim Melia; Amadou Dia (Luis Martins, 81'), Winston Reid, Roberto Puncec, Jaylin Lindsey; Gianluca Buiso (Roger Espinoza, 65'), Gerso (Dániel Sallói, 81'), Ilie Sánchez; Johnny Russell, Gadi Kinda, Khiry Shelton (Erik Hurtado, 49')

Unused Substitutes: John Pulskamp, Andreu Fontás, Graham Smith, Cameron Duke, Felipe Hernandez


Referee: Fotis Bazakos

Assistant Referees: Peter Balciunas, TJ Zablocki

Fourth Official: Nima Saghafi

VAR: Jon Freemon

Weather: Clear

Statistics are unofficial.

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