Nashville SC Moves Into Round of 16 of U.S. Open Cup
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In its inaugural season, USL side Nashville SC has been a big draw in the Music City, and that showed Wednesday night at Vanderbilt Stadium. In the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, NSC defeated the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer 2-0 in front of an impressive crowd. The Roadies, NSC’s boisterous supporters group, led the crowd in their chants supporting the “Boys in Gold”.
The U.S. Open Cup is the oldest ongoing soccer competition in the United States, this being the 105th time it has been held. It is contested between teams of the five tiers of American soccer, ranging from amateur teams who enter the qualifying tournaments up to the teams of Major League Soccer (excluding the three Canadian teams). Teams enter the competition in varying rounds, based on their league’s place in the American soccer pyramid. NSC and their fellow USL clubs entered in the second round, while MLS teams play their first matches in the fourth round of the competition.
NSC was not shy in their attack against the team who is currently last in the Western Conference in Major League Soccer, sending multiple diagonal balls in the early minutes of the first half. The Rapids drew the first corner kick of the game but failed to create any real pressure inside the box. In the 38th minute, NSC was gifted the goal that would be the deciding factor when Michael Azira of Colorado deflected a cross into his own net past keeper Zac MacMath.
The Nashville SC back line stood strong throughout the entire game, as the Rapids only managed three shots while keeper Matt Pickens was not forced into any saves. However, NSC did not let off the gas, ruining any last hope for Colorado as Ropapa Mensah made an immediate impact when he headed home a cross from Liam Doyle in the 78th minute just one minute after being subbed on.
NSC returns to action this Saturday as they travel to face the Tampa Bay Rowdies in USL action. They will find out their Round of 16 opponent for the U.S. Open Cup Thursday.
NSC is one of three USL clubs to advance to the Round of 16 this year by defeating clubs from MLS, as Louisville City FC knocked off the New England Revolution and Sacramento Republic FC defeated Seattle Sounders FC.