On his debut and first start for Nashville SC, Jacob Shaffelburg scored his side’s second goal as Gary Smith’s men presided over a comprehensive 4-0 victory over FC Dallas at GEODIS Park.
In spite of the wait to earn his first minutes in the Music City, Shaffelburg duly delivered on his highly anticipated debut after joining on loan from Toronto FC on August 2nd.
With the hosts already 1-0 up courtesy of an early goal from Hany Mukhtar, Shaffelburg opened his Nashville account via a first-time finish that snuck right under Maarten Paes’s arms. It was Shaffelburg’s initial ball to Mukhtar that allowed the German forward to toy with Matt Hedges before teeing up the Nova Scotian for the game’s second goal.
Seven minutes later, Shaffelburg would go on a blistering run to win a foul at the top of the penalty area, which ultimately led to a stunning free-kick from Mukhtar to make it 3-0 in favour of Nashville.
Despite a bright first 45 minutes in his new colours, Shaffelburg was substituted at halftime.
“We weren’t sure when Jacob was going to get in, so we haven’t had many sessions with him, but even in a short period of time, in a short window of 45 minutes, I couldn’t have wished for any more,” said Smith on Shaffelburg after the game.
“He’s instrumental in Hany’s free kick, earning it. The power and pace that he has through the middle of the field was a very different look for us.”
Shaffelburg also expressed how ecstatic he was after a successful first outing for Nashville.
“It’s a dream start. I don’t know if I could even dream of how well tonight went,” said the Nova Scotian.
“I grew up as a ‘heels to the sideline’ winger. That’s what they (Nashville) want from me. It’s kind of like a weight off my back. I’m back to my old roots.”
Following their thumping win over Dallas, Shaffelburg and co. sit sixth in the Western Conference, two points clear of the Vancouver Whitecaps in eighth. As Nashville’s push for the playoffs continues, the 22-year-old looks all but set to play a significant role for the rest of the 2022 campaign.
Nashvillle SC does have the option to sign Shaffelburg permanently in 2023.