In front of a record-breaking crowd of 59,069 at Nissan Stadium, Nashville Soccer Club made its debut in Major League Soccer dropping a hard-fought contest 2-1 to Atlanta United FC.
Atlanta got on the board first with a goal from Ezequiel Barco in the ninth minute of play. Nashville responded with a goal off of a set piece by defender Walker Zimmerman in the 29th minute to even things up. Atlanta grabbed one more goal after a set piece sequence saw Emerson Hyndman rocket a ball into the back of the net to take the lead in the 38th.
Nashville SC put the pressure on in the second half, sending numbers forward and looking for scoring opportunities. In the opening minutes of the half, Dominique Badji laid a cross into the middle and David Accam narrowly missed the tying goal. Randall Leal hit the near post on a strong individual effort in the 78th minute. The Boys in Gold put the pressure high late in the half, but could not find an equalizer.
The night began with Judah and the Lion performing a live rendition of the club’s official anthem ‘Never Give Up On You’ in front of the Nashville SC Supporter’s Section. After the teams took the field, American singer and actor Charles ‘Chip’ Esten performed the national anthem, while rock artist Lzzy Hale performed the Gibson Guitar Riff moments before kickoff with a customized Nashville SC Gibson guitar.
Nashville SC travels to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Portland Timbers next Sunday night on ESPN. The next home match is on Saturday, Mar. 21 against Columbus Crew S.C.