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Nashville SC Scores a Spooky and Successful Inaugural Season in Music City

by Rich and Laura Lynch

In popular culture, Halloween is often viewed as a horrifying holiday with a candy-coated silver lining. In so many ways that depiction perfectly describes the inaugural season experienced by the newly minted Nashville SC of Major League Soccer. However, like the full moon that appeared over Nissan Stadium on October 31, 2020 for their match against the Chicago Fire prospects for the nascent franchise are on the rise and looking up.

Nashville SC vs. Chicago fire on October 31, 2020 at Nissan Stadium.

Sure, this isn't how team owners would have drawn up their debut campaign. Following a record setting home opener that saw a state high 59,069 fans assemble to cheer for professional soccer in Tennessee the MLS would soon shut down in March - as would the rest of the world - due to the emerging pandemic.

Even scarier was when the league finally returned to the pitch for the MLS is Back Tournament held from July 8 to August 11 in a bubble environment at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida. Nashville SC had to withdraw from the competition after several of their players tested positive for COVID-19 just before their first matches.

This match was an exercise in possession that went in the Fire's favor.

But, by the time this match rolled around things had turned much sweeter for the beloved Boys in Gold. In a campaign shortened to around two thirds of its originally scheduled length, Nashville SC had accomplished the nearly unthinkable by becoming only the sixth expansion franchise in league history to earn a playoff spot in their first season.

The game against one of the MLS "original ten" fixtures resulted in a 1-1 tie as the longer established Fire dominated the possession of play in both the first and second half. It was looking good for the home side when Striker Daniel Ríos scored his fourth goal of the season - making him the team's sole leading scorer. He headed home a Randall Leal cross at the near post to open the scoring in the 28th minute. But, the Fire would level the tally in the second half.

Fancy footwork on display in Music City.

On this night when the nation would "Fall Back" due to daylight savings the Fire defensive captain was heard shouting "fall back" in the second half denying space to the home attackers - although there was one heart stopping attempt and that would bend just wide of the post as the game neared its completion. The 3,987 did their best to cheer on the squad as a chorus of eerie Ric Flair inspired woos haunted the cavernous confines of Nissan Stadium all night long.

While this 2020 season was a resounding success for Nashville SC even happier times loom on the horizon. Before the start of the game the club showed a video presentation that highlighted many of the unique features of their glorious soccer-specific stadium that is set to open in 2022. Even better yet, the CGI fans who were depicted having an amazing time in future Nashville were shown not wearing masks or social distancing - and that's a goal we should all be shooting for. For a limited time, fans purchasing 2021 Season Ticket Plans will automatically become a part of the First String. These loyal backers will receive priority when selecting seats in the new stadium in 2022.

Nashville SC put up a solid defense of the onion bag for most of the night.

Related Links: For more information on NASHVILLE SC and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links -- Nashville SC | Nashville SC Leaps Up to the Major Leagues in Music City | Nashville SC Plant Their Flag | Nashville SC Steps Up to the Big Time


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