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What to Watch for as Nashville SC Concludes Inaugural MLS Regular Season at Orlando City SC

November 8, 2020 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Nashville SC News Release


NASHVILLE - Nashville SC (7W-7L-8D, 1.32 ppg) plays its final regular season match of its inaugural Major League Soccer season on MLS Decision Day pres. by AT&T against Orlando City SC (11W-3L-8D, 1.86 ppg).

While the Boys in Gold have already clinched a spot in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, Sunday's matches will determine what seed Nashville will earn. A win, plus some help, would see Nashville move up to sixth place in the Eastern Conference, avoiding the play-in round.

Here's everything you need to know about Sunday's Decision Day clash:

Date: Sunday, November 8

Time: 2:30 p.m. CT

Location: Exploria Stadium

TV: CW58

In-Market Stream: YouTubeTV, AT&T TV, NashvilleSC.com/stream

Out-of-Market Stream: ESPN+

English Radio: ESPN 94.9

Spanish Radio: El Jefe 96.7

Finish and Flourish - Even though Nashville already knows this won't be its last match of 2020, there is still plenty to play for. In addition to trying to gain some confidence going into the postseason after some tough matches down the stretch, the Boys in Gold are also looking to improve their place in the standings. Currently in eighth place, Nashville needs a win, plus dropped points by seventh-place New York Red Bulls and a loss by sixth-place New England Revolution. In addition, Nashville needs to make up a two-goal difference in goal differential in order to leapfrog New England and avoid the play-in round.

"I think everyone always is judged on where they finish at the end of the season," Head Coach Gary Smith said. "And we sit in a very respectable position for a first-year group and I know everyone's proud of the work that's gone on. And to finish off on a good note would mean a couple of things: firstly, of course your confidence will be high. Secondly, we have the opportunity to clinch that sixth spot."

Mo or No Mo - In addition to building confidence, Nashville SC could have the chance to build some momentum going into the playoffs with a solid result.

However, Smith says he's skeptical of momentum's role at this moment given the two-week break between the end of the regular season and the start of the postseason.

"Given the schedule that we've asked to undertake where we've been playing two games a week in any normal week, we'd have normally played four games in that time," Smith said of the two-week break. "That's crazy. I'm sure every single team will be absolutely delighted for the rest in the first two or three days. But it's going to be interesting to see how all of the teams function in those first-round playoffs or the play-in games and there on out."

Handwalla Helpin' Out - Wednesday's match saw the Nashville debut for attacker Handwalla Bwana, who was acquired from Seattle Sounders FC in October. He played the final minutes of the match as a substitute.

With depth becoming even more crucial going into the playoffs, Bwana says he's happy to get settled in at his new club just in time for a playoff run.

"I'm happy to be where I am today," Bwana said. "Because now it's time for me to grow and show people that I can reach my full potential and hopefully go even farther with the club. And the city's been world class. The weather is amazing, and it's really a beautiful city to be around. I've never left Seattle in my life but now this change is huge for me and my family."

Stay tuned to NashvilleSC.com and our social media pages for complete coverage of Decision Day pres. by AT&T and the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.


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