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Nashville SC - The Kids Are Alright at GEODIS Park

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Just like their friendly rivals across town who ply their trade on the ice, the Boys in Gold are enjoying a bit of a youth movement themselves as two young players on both sides of the ball got the call to start on the pitch during a match against Toronto FC on Saturday, April 08, 2023 at GEODIS Park in Nashville, Tennessee.

Jacob Shaffelburg - Nashville SC youth movement.

On offense, 23-year old Jacob Shaffelburg definitely brings the energy and enthusiasm to the game that is both effective and contagious. Jacob powered the ball up to the goal on several breaks in the first half but if was a non call on a hard foul that really got him riled up. At least his passion was on display. Shaff is a Canadian star who plays on his country's national team and he joined the Music City squad full-time last year being signed to a four year deal after convincingly proving himself during a trial loaner period.

Jack Maher like Shaffelburg was born in 1999 so you can bet these two are fast friends having a lot of shared experiences including now wearing the vibrant yellow for coach Gary Smith. Jack worked through the ranks of college and the USL before being scooped up by Nashville SC as a Generation Adidas player in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. Against Toronto, Jack was a solid presence in the backfield confidently kicking away every challenge that the Boys in Black and Red moved up near the net. Unfortunately, Toronto's defense was playing a similar style clearing off all challenges before they ever became a threat to their own goal line.

In all honesty, the weather was dreary and the two halves showcased pretty dismal play by both sides resulting in a predictable 0-0 draw. The best thing to come out of the game was a single point and the hope of watching Nashville's promising youngsters continue to evolve into stars over the long season in the anticipation that maybe we will see them back in the playoffs if the team can start scoring some goals again.

Adding to the solemn and the sullen overall tone of the evening's entertainment was a touching tribute from the backline to the 3 children and 3 adults lost in the horrific Covenant School shooting earlier in the month. Starting at the six minute mark the usually raucous cheering section went silent for six minutes before brightening up the stadium with cell phones and a moving rendition of "This Little Light of Mine" making the beautiful game seem a little less important for a brief moment - especially for this group of fans who take the sport so seriously.

Jack Maher - Nashville SC youth movement.

Related Links: For more information on NASHVILLE SC and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Nashville SC | Nashville SC Gets Into the Black with Commanding Season Opening Win at GEODIS Park


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