What to Watch for as Nashville SC Completes Road Trip at Chicago Fire FCÃÂ
After a five-goal victorious effort in Fort Lauderdale, FloridaÂ on Wednesday, Nashville SCÂ (11W-3L-11D, 44 pts)Â rolls into Chicago on Sunday to take on Chicago Fire FCÂ (6W-15L-5D, 23Â pts).
Sunday's match will complete a four-match road swing,Â fromÂ which the team holds aÂ 2W-1L-0D record so far. It'sÂ the longest stretch of road matches the Boys in Gold will face this season.Â It's also the third of five matches in 15 days for Nashville before the teamÂ breaks for international play in early October.Â
Nashville SC enters the weekendÂ in second place in the Eastern ConferenceÂ afterÂ thoroughlyÂ beating Inter Miami CF 5-1Â in its last fixture.Â
Here's everything you need to know aboutÂ Sunday's match:
Date: Sunday, Sept. 26
Time: Noon CT
Location: Soldier Field (Chicago, Illinois)
Stream: Click Here
English Radio: ESPN 94.9
Spanish Radio: El Jefe 96.7
Bounce Back MentalityÂ -Â Nashville SC has lost just three times this season, including last Saturday night at Toronto FC. In the matches immediately following those losses, the Boys in GoldÂ have three wins with a total of 13 goals, including fiveÂ most recentlyÂ against Inter Miami CF.Â
Head Coach Gary Smith praised the way his team respondedÂ to adversity faced in Toronto.Â
"Goes without saying: a response was needed," Smith said. "We came here knowing this was going to be a tough game having lost in a real heartbreak fashion the last time we were here, and it's never easy to play against this group. To score five goals and win as resoundingly as we haveÂ tonight,Â I thinkÂ makes a bit of a statement from where we sit for, you know, our intentions to be in the postseason."
M-L-S is BackÂ -Â For the first time in over a month, Nashville SC's attacking trio of Hany Mukhtar, Randall Leal and CJÂ SapongÂ started a match together on Wednesday in Florida.Â M-L-S picked up right where it left off, combining for three of Nashville SC's five goals on the night. This season,Â the trio have combined for 27 of Nashville's 44 goals this seasonÂ and 20 assists.Â
Smith said Nashville's five-goal outburst came down to an extra gear of intensity from the entire group, including the M-L-S trio.Â
"We can only attack and work against the group that's put in front of us, and the big difference tonight from the last time we came here was the appetite of the players, the willingness to get beyond their backline, and to show more energy," Smith said.Â "Sometimes, it's not too complicated. There was a nice connection and there was an appetite about our game."
Windy City WorkÂ -Â Nashville SC now faces Chicago Fire FC on the road for the first time in club history.Â FireÂ FCÂ are coming off a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the league-leading New England Revolution on Wednesday night.
Earlier this season, Nashville SC defeatedÂ the FireÂ in a 5-1Â affair atÂ Nissan StadiumÂ on July 17. MukhtarÂ scored theÂ fastest hat trick from kickoff in Major League Soccer history,Â and the first hat trickÂ ever by a Nashville SC player in MLS, scoring in the 10', 13' and 16' minutes.
Sunday'sÂ match completes a stretch of four consecutive road matchesÂ for the Boys in Gold.Â NashvilleÂ has taken at least a point inÂ allÂ but three of its 11 road matches this season.Â They'll be facing a Chicago side that has lost six of its last seven matches, four of which were shutout losses.Â
Catch all the action on MyTV30 and our website at Noon on Sunday.
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