Match Preview: MOBA, Nashville SC set for Final Clash of 2017
It goes without saying that there was a massive increase in competitiveness in the second matchup between Peachtree City MOBA and Nashville SC U23 compared to the first. The May 13th battle between the two sides that ended in a 6-1 Nashville victory was dominated by the U23's, however the June 3rd match in Peachtree City, despite still being won by Nashville 2-1, was a far more intriguing game that made every fan hold their breath until the final whistle. Now, MOBA and Nashville are back in Tennessee for the third and final entry of the series in 2017, as Nashville look to complete the sweep, and Peachtree City hope to spoil Nashville's undefeated home record.
Halfway through the year, MOBA are fighting for every point they can get their hands on. Following the first coaching change in franchise history, the results have not been up to expectations, as Peachtree City currently sit at 0-6-1, which is last in the division. Despite winning all of their friendlies against NPSL sides Georgia Revolution FC and Atlanta Silverbacks FC and Liga MAGG side Pumas, the yellow and black are winless in PDL play, with their only point coming on the road at South Georgia Tormenta FC on matchday two. With seven matches left to play, including four at home, MOBA will be looking to go on a tear during the final half of the year, and it all starts in Nashville. Winning will not be an easy task, however, as MOBA will be without leading scorer Edmundo Robinson following his red card in Saturday's match against Tri-Cities. Santiago Moore, who made his return to the starting eleven following the 3-1 friendly victory against Atlanta, has played significantly better during the last few matches, including an equalizing goal off a penalty against SC United on June 13th, and he will more than likely be the go-to scorer for MOBA in Nashville alongside Daniel Valenciano, who has played well all season.
Expansion side Nashville SC U23 started off the season far better than expected, dominating the South Atlantic with five straight wins and a draw during a twenty-five day unbeaten stretch. Despite a strong start that pushed Nashville to the top of the division table and the Eastern Conference Power Rankings, the U23's have slipped up over the last two weeks, going 0-1-2 over the last three matches, with the sole loss coming at Tormenta FC, as they fell to second in the division, one point behind the leading Charlotte Eagles. Nashville did have a chance to get back on track, as they battled Memphis City of the NPSL in a mid-season friendly, and they took full advantage. Rocking Tennessee with a 7-0 victory, Nashville look to carry their momentum and get back on top of the division against Peachtree City on Wednesday.
Keys to Victory
- Keep Calm: The crowd in Nashville is definitely one of the best in the PDL (behind the Fresno Fuego), and they played a massive role in the 6-1 victory over a month ago. This time around, MOBA will need to keep the crowd out of it and just play their style of football. There will always be noise, but only you are in control of how you handle it. Play together, play for each other, and get a result.
- Fast Start: During all seven of MOBA's league matches, the opposition has scored first every time. To keep a foothold in Nashville, however, MOBA will need to be the first one's on the board. Still without a first half goal, that surely seems to be at the root of MOBA's struggles, so keep up the pressure on both ends, allow the defenders to do their jobs while the attacking midfielders and strikers do their role of putting the ball in the net.
Things need to get turned around quickly for Peachtree City. With just six goals on the season, both ends will need to step up and keep the high-scoring U23's at bay while MOBA look to get back on track. Vanderbilt has been one of the of the hardest places to get a result, as Nashville are perfect on their home pitch, so it will take the effort of all eleven of the men on the pitch to put an end to that. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 PM, and a livestream is expected to be available via Nashville SC.