Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Columbus Crew v Nashville SC: Munthali hoping to leave positive impact as interim boss

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 Jul 2024

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Nashville SC interim head coach Rumba Munthali says his main aim is to get the club into a “positive spot” as they look to get back to winning ways against Columbus Crew.

Inter Miami ended Nashville’s three-match MLS unbeaten streak on Saturday, with the Coyotes unable to mount a second-half comeback.

It leaves them seventh in the Eastern Conference, with the teams below them starting to close in on the last final series spot.

However, Munthali was optimistic following the defeat, explaining his focus is on the players’ continued improvement.

“Against Miami, I thought we should have done better with defending set pieces and the scoring chances we had in the first half,” Munthali said. “In the second half, we showed some fight, some resolve, and I commend the guys for that.

“My job at the club is to help players get better. It’s just working in a different capacity [as head coach].

“I like helping players and I think they know that. My mindset hasn’t changed. We’re really looking towards the next game to make sure our club is in a good positive spot.”

Meanwhile, Columbus sit three points above them in the table on 33 points.

The Crew have won their last two matches by an aggregate scoreline of 9-1, with Cucho Hernandez scoring four of those goals, with head coach Wilfried Nancy full of praise for his star man.

“Cucho scores goals, but he also makes chances,” Nancy said. “He was sad because he was on the side with some back pain, and he wanted to come back and help the team. Now he is, it’s good for the team and good for him.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Columbus Crew – Cucho Hernandez

Hernandez has been the star man for Columbus this season, and not just in the last two games when he has stepped up his goalscoring.

He has scored 10 goals so far this season – the most of any player for the Crew – with half of those coming in his last three outings for the club.

Nashville SC – Tyler Boyd

Tyler Boyd scored his first goal of the season during Nashville’s most recent win, netting the winner against New York City FC.

While he could not follow that up against Miami at the weekend, he had the second-most shots for the team, though he did not test the goalkeeper.

MATCH PREDICTION: COLUMBUS CREW WIN

Columbus have won three of their previous eight meetings with Nashville in MLS, winning their last such home match against the Coyotes in June 2023 (2-0).

Having gone on a seven-match winless streak from late March to early May, Columbus have since lost just one of their last seven in MLS (winning the other six).

Nashville are unbeaten in their previous four road matches, conceding just once in that run (during a 2-1 win over Toronto FC). They will be hoping to extend that run by getting their first win at Columbus since April 2022.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Columbus Crew – 58.2%

Draw – 27.18%

Nashville SC – 20%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

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