NASHVILLE – Another game, another win for Nashville SC.
After their 2-1 victory over Inter Miami CF on Wednesday night at GEODIS Park, the Coyotes are unbeaten in their last seven matches in all competitions, winning five of the last six.
Still, despite their scintillating form, Nashville head coach Gary Smith aimed to remain calm and realistic on expectations.
"I'm certainly not going to get too excited at this point in time," he said following the match. "There's too much football, too many things that can happen, too many scenarios that we just don't have answers to."
It's hard not to be excited if you're a Nashville fan. After 13 games, they're in third place in the Eastern Conference. Hany Mukhtar is off to his best start to an MLS season, just one behind Atlanta United's Thiago Almada with 12 combined goals and assists. And most importantly, Nashville's defense has been elite, conceding just eight goals and putting them on pace for the best single-season defense in league history.
"We've seen so often in this league that you can be in a very good place and complacency sets in," reflected Smith. "I don't think that'll happen to this group, but you can never be sure. It only takes one bad result, one poor result, and all of a sudden people are questioning what's going on. So while we're in this run, we want to try and reinforce some of the football that we've played."
And while the soccer Nashville have played hasn't always been the most aesthetically pleasing in years past, it's hard not to enjoy what they've put on the field in 2023. Fafà Picault has been a vital attacking addition this season and the fans have taken notice. He found the net against Miami for the third time this season and dedicated his goal to the fans who paid for his waffles and pork sausage breakfast earlier that morning.
"Two lovely fans paid for my breakfast. I told them I would do a 'feed me' celebration later," he said during an MLS 360 interview after the match. "Thank you to them again. Alan was his name. I wanted to do the celebration and dedication for them."
Fafa Picault dedicates goal celebration to Nashville fans who paid for his breakfast
With a packed schedule on the docket, Smith knows his team can't switch off. They're on the road against Charlotte FC Saturday (7:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass) before a quick rematch against Miami on Tuesday in the US Open Cup Round of 16. Nashville are in a good spot now, but Smith knows things can quickly change this early in the year.
"We've got work to do. We'll just keep trying to add points to the board," he said. "What I do know is that if you work with the right attitude and you continue to perform at the sort of level that we've seen tonight, there's no reason why we shouldn't be competing in that top four."