Sixth-seeded Orlando City (13-9-12, 51 pts) opens up its Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs run against third-seeded Nashville SC (12-4-18, 54 pts) this Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET at Nissan Stadium. The match will be televised nationally on FS1 and Fox Deportes, with local radio coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on 96.9 The Game in English and Acción 97.9 FM in Spanish.
Here’s everything you need to know about Nashville:
Key Transactions and Player News
Key Additions - F Aké Loba (Monterrey), F CJ Sapong (Chicago Fire FC)
Key Departures - F David Accam (Hammarby), CM Derrick Jones (Houston Dynamo FC), CF Dominique Badji (Colorado Rapids)
Player News - Designated Player Hany Mukhtar has lived up to his lofty billing in 2021. The German-born attacking midfielder led MLS with 28 goal contributions (16 goals, 12 assists) and has found himself among the finalists for the Landon Donovan MLS MVP Award. Mukhtar has scored twice against Orlando this year.
Take a look at Nashville’s full roster here.
For a team hosting a playoff game, Nashville sure liked to draw a lot. The Boys in Gold tied an MLS record with 18 ties this season, drawing seven of their final nine matches. Nashville has won just once since September 22, and that was against last-place FC Cincinnati. Mukhtar is the only player on the team to score a goal against anyone other than Cincinnati since the beginning of October. The good news for Nashville, and why they’re the three seed in the East, is that they only lost four times all year, including an unbeaten 8-0-9 mark at home.
Tuesday’s matchup will be the fourth between these two teams in 2021 and their sixth meeting in the past 15 months. Four of those six previous encounters, including all three this season, have ended in draws, though the last on Halloween would have been an Orlando City win had a controversial Video Review decision not ruled out Andrés Perea’s late game-winner.
Rasmussen University Fact
Daryl Dike has lit up MLS since debuting last summer, but Nashville has been a particular favorite of his over the past two years. Dike has five goals against the Boys in Gold in five appearances, the most he’s scored against any single MLS opponent and more than 25% of his Orlando City total.