Loudoun United played to a 2-0 loss in the franchise’s inaugural game Saturday night in Nashville, but the performance was cause for optimism.
Even just days before the game, the team was continuing to add players to its roster—a roster that was largely empty a month ago.
Despite the lack of practice time together, the team held Nashville SC scoreless in the first half. Nashville’s two goals came in quick succession, at the 59- and 61-minute marks, during a game in which the home team dominated the time of possession 60 percent to 40 percent.
“I thought it was a solid performance for a team that has only been training for three weeks and haven’t spent much time playing together. It was up and down but to be 0-0 at halftime against an experienced team in the league is a positive. In the second half we played a little better even though we made a few mistakes on the goals,” said Loudoun United FC Head Coach Richie Williams.“It was positive, a lot of young players got their first professional game. I think we can build on it this week moving into Memphis. We’ll continue to help the players get better, keep the team organized and hopefully little by little we get better and better and get some results.”
Starting Forward Kyle Murphy also saw good things in the team’s season opening performance.
“We had a couple of good spells and we have to learn from our mistakes. There were some positives in there, we just have to break it down and watch the film and work on what we need to. I think it was a positive that some people got their first professional game out of the way … maybe they were a little nervous at times. We’re gonna look at it, progress, and keep improving every week,” he said.“I think we are going to continue to get comfortable with each other and learn each other’s tendencies. It’ll be great to sit down and watch film to see where we need to improve.”
The next game also will be played in Tennessee, on Saturday night against Memphis 901 FC (0-1).
The opening day loss puts Loudoun United 15thin the standings among the 18 teams in the United Soccer League’s Eastern Conference.