Seattle Sounders fall 1-0 to Nashville SC in MLS opener

Feb 27, 2022, 7:45 PM
Sounders Nashville...
Sounders midfielder Obed Vargas and Nashville SC midfielder Hany Mukhtar battle for a header Sunday. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

SEATTLE (AP) — Aníbal Godoy scored his seventh career MLS goal in the 80th minute to give Western Conference newcomer Nashville SC a 1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders in the season opener for both teams on Sunday night.

Nashville SC 1, Seattle Sounders 0: Stats

Nashville’s terrific defensive performance shut down Seattle’s attack, and it was finally rewarded in the closing minutes when Godoy, unmarked at the back post, finished off a cross from Randall Leal.

Seattle failed to get an official shot on goal until a weak header by Fredy Montero in the 87th minute. Nicolas Lodeiro had a header dribble wide in second-half stoppage time but it was otherwise a quiet night for Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis.

Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei made three saves. He initially stopped a shot from Teal Bunbury in the build up to Godoy’s goal, but Nashville retained possession after the rebound and Leal eventually found Godoy.

It was Godoy’s first goal since Aug. 30, 2020, against Inter Miami.

Seattle had its second straight home loss after losing to Real Salt Lake on penalties in the opening round of last year’s MLS Cup playoffs. The Sounders were without striker Raul Ruidiaz due to a sore right hamstring after Thursday’s win over Motagua in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Nashville will play its first eight games away from home before returning to its new 30,000-seat stadium for a May 1 game against Philadelphia.

Nashville, which finished third in the Eastern Conference last season, moved to the West due to the arrival of Charlotte FC as the newest expansion club. And for the first night, Nashville looked the part of a contender in the West.

The best scoring chance in the first 45 minutes belonged to Nashville’s Hany Mukhtar, who found a gap in the Seattle defense at the top of the penalty area. His right-footed shot was deflected wide on a diving stop by Frei.

Nashville will continue its road trip next week at Minnesota United, while Seattle is at Real Salt Lake.

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