It’s Matchday 1, and New York City FC are in Music City to face the always-dangerous Nashville SC in the opening game of the 2023 MLS season. We have the tingles, too.
It’s the first game between these two sides since 2021, when Nashville were in the Eastern Conference. After spending a year in the Western Conference, Nashville are back where they belong. The head-to-head between the clubs is short and sweet — if you support Nashville. The two have met twice, and NYCFC have posted 0 wins, 1 draw, and 1 loss, with 1 goal scored and 3 goals allowed.
No bueno: NYCFC have a losing record against seven teams in MLS, and Nashville are one of them. But that could be fixed with a nice road win in this match.
Match: NYCFC at Nashville SC
Date and Time: Saturday, February 25, 4:30 pm ET (Actual kickoff time: 4:55 PM ET)
Venue: GEODIS Park
Bruce Arena Forecast: Cloudy, 53˚F/11˚C
Watch: FOX, Fox Deportes
Stream: Apple TV (free)
Listen: English and Spanish broadcasts on NYCFC Radio
• NYCFC Player availability: NYCFC have a clean bill of health, no one on the injury report.
• How will Cushing line up his team? We’ll find out later this afternoon. One position battle seems to have momentary clarity, as Luis Barraza looks to be getting the first crack at replacing Sean Johnson as starting NYCFC goalkeeper. He’s switched to the No 1 jersey and is front-and-center in the club’s promotion of the Nashville match, so it feels safe to expect him between the sticks in Music City.
• Not sure of what to expect from the team from Tennessee with a 7-foot coyote mascot named Tempo? Read up on some of Nashville’s players, their preferred style, new kit, and more in our Nashville SC Oppo Research feature.
• Note that the game will be broadcast on FOX and Fox Deportes, and streamed for free on Apple TV — it’s not behind the MLS Season Pass paywall.
• Nashville player availability: Nashville list three players as questionable and one as out, though all three questionable players have already been declared available by Nashville coach Gary Smith. Their full injury report:
• Now that NYCFC are getting into the stadium-building business, why not take note of GEODIS Park, the newest (and nicest?) stadium in MLS. It has 30,000 seats, large by the standards of this league, and we have to admit it’s a fine-looking arena.