Preview: Nashville SC Looking to Continue Scoring Blitz against Charlotte Independence
SHVILLE - Riding a two-match winning streak, Nashville Soccer Club will play its fourth home match in the past two weeks on Saturday when it hosts Charlotte Independence at First Tennessee Park. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM. Tickets are still available here.
Nashville will look to close out the homestand in style before a pair of tough matches on the road next week.
How to Follow
Local TV: MyTV30
Local English Radio: ESPN 94.9 Game 2
Local Spanish Radio: El Jefe 96.7
Digital Stream: ESPN+
Last Time Out
Nashville defeated South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 in a Second Round match in the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night at Hayes Stadium in Murfreesboro. Cameron Lancaster, Alan Winn and Ropapa Mensah all scored in the winning effort. Prior to that, Nashville trounced Swope Park Rangers 5-1 in league play on Saturday night. Daniel Ríos had two goals and an assist, while Winn scored his first goal of the season.
Charlotte Independence has been playing in the USL since 2015 and have made the playoffs twice in its history. Last season, the club finished 11th in the Eastern Conference, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2015. This season, the club has a mix of veteran and young players contributing on offense. 33-year-old Dominic Oduro leads the way with four goals in nine matches, while veteran Jorge Herrara and newcomer Andrew Gutman have also pitched in with two goals apiece.
The club has stumbled out of the gate this season, winning just one match through its first 10 league meetings. Charlotte comes to Nashville after losing to amateur qualifiers Florida Soccer Soldiers in the Second Round of the U.S. Open Cup. In addition, Charlotte has yet to win on the road this season, going 0-2-2 in four road matches.
Storylines to Watch
Nashville Scoring Party
Over the last two matches, Nashville SC has put on a scoring clinic. Against Swope Park Rangers, Nashville scored a club-record five goals on the night en route to the win. Nashville also scored three goals in the U.S. Open Cup win over South Georgia Tormenta FC 2. Those eight goals in two matches are the most Nashville has scored in a two-match stretch in club history. Daniel Ríos' two goals against Swope Park Rangers give him seven on the season, leading the team and tied for second in the USL Championship.
Home Stretch of the Homestand
Saturday night's match will cap off a four-match home stand across all competitions. Nashville started the home stand with a 1-0 loss to unbeaten Tampa Bay Rowdies, but followed it up with the win over Swope Park Rangers and the U.S. Open Cup victory over Tormenta FC 2. Nashville SC is currently 3-2-0 in league play at home this season. The Boys in Gold will look to secure three points before hitting the road next week to take on Birmingham Legion FC and Indy Eleven.
Forward Alan Winn has started the last two matches for Nashville SC and has proven to be a fantastic addition to the lineup. In his first start against Swope Park, he scored a goal in the first half to pad Nashville's lead to 3-0 at the time. In the Open Cup match against South Georgia, Winn had a first-half goal and a pair of assists in the 3-2 win. If Head Coach Gary Smith maintains a similar lineup this Saturday, Winn could be a factor again against Charlotte.
Belmar's Big Plays
Winger Kharlton Belmar has been stellar through the opening months of the 2019 season, and this weekend, he finally got some points to show for it. The former Sporting Kansas City winger scored his first goal and added his first assist of the 2019 season in the 5-1 win over Swope Park Rangers. In the first half, his cross to the near post found the head of Ríos for the goal, and in the second half, he scored on a one-on-one run against the keeper to pad Nashville's lead.
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