Sat, 05 Dec 2020

Nashville SC, FC Dallas look to build on wins

Field Level Media
20 Oct 2020, 05:40 GMT+10

Nashville SC and FC Dallas will look to build on wins when the sides square off on Tuesday in their first match ever on Nashville's home pitch in a key late season, interconference dustup.

Nashville already owns a win and a draw against FCD in its inaugural season, with both of those matches in north Texas in August.

Both teams earned much-needed victories last Wednesday, with Nashville beating Houston on the road 3-1 and FC Dallas holding off Sporting Kansas City 1-0 at home.

Nashville's win came via a three-goals-in-eight-minutes outburst beginning in the 15th minute. Hany Mukhtar scored the first and third goals of the match and assisted on the second, a heat-seeking header by Abu Danladi.

The win garnered Nashville (5-6-6, 21 points) its largest road margin of victory in its Major League Soccer history and earned three crucial points in the standings, vaulting the first-year team into ninth place in the Eastern Conferences and back above the playoff line.

Nashville's lineup against Houston was the youngest in its 17-game MLS history. But in the end, it was Mukhtar, the team's first designated player, who led the way and impressed his manager, Gary Smith.

"Hany knows he's capable of it," Smith said of Mukhtar. "Coaches and players alike know it. He is an inspiration when he plays in that way. It wasn't just the goals; Hany played with enthusiasm and energy. It was a spark for the team."

FC Dallas (6-4-6, 24 points) also picked up its first win in its last five games with its easier-than-it-sounds win over Sporting KC. Ryan Hollingshead scored that match's lone goal near the end of the first half, and goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer logged his fourth shutout of the season for FCD.

It's the first time Maurer had a clean sheet in a win this year -- the other three came in scoreless draws.

FC Dallas begins the week in sixth place in the West, tied in points with Minnesota United, who have played 17 games, and San Jose (19 games).

"We need to be ready to go to Nashville because they took points from us at home and that hurt us," FC Dallas manager Luchi Gonzalez told mlssoccer.com after the win over Sporting KC. "We want to get those back."

--Field Level Media

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