What to Watch for as Nashville SC Hosts FC Dallas in Nationally-Televised Battle
NASHVILLE - Nashville SC (5W-6L-6D, 21 pts.) returns home on Tuesday for the first of two matches at Nissan Stadium this week when the Boys in Gold face FC Dallas (6W-4L-6D, 24 pts.).
Nashville is coming off of a crucial 3-1 win over Houston Dynamo on the road last Wednesday. With six days of rest under its belt, Nashville SC will be seeking to keep pace in the playoff race and climb the Eastern Conference standings.
The Boys in Gold have already faced FC Dallas twice this season, earning its first MLS win on Aug. 12 in Frisco, Texas, and earning a scoreless draw a few days later.
Here's everything you need to know about Tuesday's nationally-televised clash:
Date: Tuesday, Oct. 20
Time: 7:30 p.m. CT
Location: Nissan Stadium
TV: Fox Sports 1
Stream: Foxsports.com, Fox Sports App
English Radio: ESPN 94.9
Spanish Radio: El Jefe 96.7
Home Stretch to the Finish - Tuesday's match will kick off a stretch of six matches to close out the season, four of which will be at home. The Boys in Gold haven't lost at home since the club's Major League Soccer debut on Feb. 29, earning three wins and three draws.
That home form could be a major factor in the race for a playoff spot.
"Those four games are huge," defender Dave Romney said. "I was just looking at the standings, and our only loss at home was against Atlanta in February. We've had the last six undefeated, so we really need to make sure these last four games we can keep that streak going and get as many points as possible to make a good playoff run."
Chemistry Compounded - Nashville's line-up in Houston last Wednesday was heavily rotated, with regular starters such as Walker Zimmerman, Dax McCarty and AnÃbal Godoy given at least part of the match off.
Despite the rotation, the team chemistry looked stronger than ever. Forward Abu Danladi assisted on Hany Mukhtar's first goal, and both Mukhtar and Taylor Washington assisted on Danladi's header goal.
Danladi says the chemistry is a byproduct of the group's team-first mentality.
"It was a good team performance," Danladi said. "You have to trust in your players. Every single one of us from the beginning was working really hard. You can tell from the goalkeeper all the way to the attackers, the team chemistry was working really well. I had a good feeling things were going to pan out well if we kept doing things in the right way. Even with new guys being rotated in, everyone did outstanding. It shows the mentality of the group. We have a good group of guys and anybody can do the work."
CÃ¡diz's Impact - Wednesday's match also saw the debut of Nashville's newest Designated Player and forward Jhonder CÃ¡diz. The Venezuelan striker made a second-half substitute appearance, taking two shots in the process. CÃ¡diz could continue to see minutes on Tuesday against FC Dallas.
Head Coach Gary Smith says CÃ¡diz has given a boost to the entire forward group simply with his presence.
"He's a great presence, he's a confident guy," Smith said. "You can just sense the personality in the player. He's got lots of energy; he's very buoyant. I think the group has looked at him and seen the type of individual he is. He's certainly not at his match-fit best, but he's slowly getting there. Some of the things that he's capable of achieving and offering to the group have given everyone such a huge boost."
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