Mon, 29 Nov 2021

Second-place Nashville without Hany Mukhtar vs. Union

Field Level Media
23 Oct 2021, 09:19 GMT+10

Without their leading scorer, Nashville SC will attempt to keep hold of the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference as it faces the third-place Philadelphia Union on the road at Subaru Park on Saturday night.

Hany Mukhtar's goal in the 77th minute salvaged a 1-1 draw for Nashville against Columbus on Wednesday. Nashville (11-3-16, 49 points) has earned draws in five straight matches, one shy of the MLS record for consecutive draws within a single season.

However, Nashville will be without Mukhtar for Saturday's game after he received his sixth yellow card late in Wednesday's game. Mukhtar, who leads the team with 14 goals and nine assists, will serve a one-game suspension when his team plays the Union.

"(With a game) coming up midweek again, there might have been a little bit of rotation anyway. I'd loved him to have been there, of course. It's not to be the case," Nashville coach Gary Smith said. "One door closes, another one opens. Somebody else gets a chance."

Midfielder Luke Haakenson will also serve a one-game suspension versus Philadelphia after receiving his fifth yellow against the Crew.

Philadelphia (12-8-10, 46 points) is 2-1-1 in the month of October but is winless in its last two matches (0-1-1).

Daniel Gazdag had both of the Union's goals in a 3-2 loss at Minnesota United on Wednesday. It was a breakout performance for the midfielder Gazdag, who had scored one goal in 18 prior matches in MLS.

"It's a shame because I thought that the performance of the players, there were some really positive ones on the evening," Philadelphia coach Jim Curtin told the Delaware County Daily Times. "The performance was one that was good enough for points on the road usually."

The Union have won three in a row at home and are 9-1-3 at Subaru Park since May 12. Philadelphia's defense has surrendered just six goals at home during that span.

Nashville earned a 1-0 home win over Philadelphia in the first meeting between the teams this season on July 3 after former Union striker C.J. Sapong's goal 68 seconds into the match held up as the winner.

--Field Level Media

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