May 30, 2024

Was Messi the reason for it? The Nashville coach explains the halftime switch to a GK.
Surprisingly, Nashville SC coach Gary Smith benched goalkeeper Elliot Pannico at halftime after his team was down 2-1 to Inter Miami.

When Nashville SC’s head coach Gary Smith replaced goalkeeper Elliot Panicco at halftime of his team’s 3-1 loss to Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami at Chase Stadium on Saturday, it caught many off guard.

The Englishman stated he observed the 27-year-old was having trouble on the field during his press conference following the game. Smith thought Panicco appeared uneasy with the ball at his feet and that in the second half, Messi and co. might expose him.

Franco Negri’s own goal gave the visitors the lead just two minutes into the contest. However, the home team quickly mounted a comeback, with Messi tying the score after 11′. After assisting Sergio Busquets with a corner kick 28 minutes later, the Argentine star turned things around. Smith made the decision to start Joe Willis in goal for the second half of play before returning from the half.


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