The week of training camp at IMG Academy ended on a high note for Nashville Soccer Club as it beat two-time defending USL Cup champions Louisville City FC 2-1. The win was hard earned as forward Alan Winn scored the game-winner in the 70’ minute and the defense stopped a late Louisville surge that included numerous late set pieces.
90’ in a Nutshell
Nashville SC was on the back foot early as Louisville City forward Luke Spencer had two early chances to put the champs in front. Starting Nashville keeper Matt Pickens made saves on both including a point blank, one-on-one save against Spencer to keep the game scoreless.
Forward Tucker Hume got Nashville on the board first as he slotted away a rebound in the 24’ minute. New NSC forward Kharlton Belmar sent a rocket that was parried away, but it landed at the feet of Alan Winn who knocked it to Hume. The lead almost lasted until halftime before Louisville equalized. A Louisville free kick from Oscar Jiminez just outside the box found the back of the net after bouncing off multiple players right in front of goal. Louisville credited Paco Craig with the tally.
In the second half, both teams made wholesale changes, however Winn stayed out to play a portion of the final 45 minutes. The move paid off in the 70’ minute for head coach Gary Smith as Winn scored what would be the winning goal. Midfielder Lebo Moloto sent a long pass down the left side to an in stride Ramone Howell. Howell sent it across the box to a wide open Winn who converted the tap in.
Nashville saw out the final 20 minutes despite several Louisville corners and free kicks around the box. Keeper Connor Sparrow made three second half saves to preserve the victory.
24’ NSH – Tucker Hume (Alan Winn)
45’ LOU – Paco Craig
70’ NSH – Alan Winn (Ramone Howell)
Forward Alan Winn
“It was a tremendous week. I love Florida. I was here when I was 17 [with the U.S. U-18 National Team] and it was beautiful than and its beautiful now. The fields are pristine. It was good learning what we are all about. It was good getting to know my teammates outside of Nashville, and there were really good bonding moments. Leaving here with a win especially is incredible, a good high feeling, and hopefully it’ll translate to the season.”
Cameron Lancaster – 30 minutes
Lancaster, a Nashville MLS signee on loan to the USL club, made his unofficial debut for Nashville in the win against his former team. He came on in the 60’ minute and played the final 30 minutes. While Lancaster didn’t get on the scoresheet, he was a presence at the top of the Nashville attack and drew multiple Louisville defenders, who know first-hand his goal scoring ability.
Nashville will return to the field next Saturday against Birmingham Legion FC in the Legion’s first home preseason friendly. Birmingham is one of four USL Eastern Conference expansion teams and will play its home games on campus at Alabama-Birmingham.