How does Nashville SC Roster Compare to FC Cincinnati and Sporting KC
Thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at how the Nashville SC roster is coming together. In theory they have 9 of their 20 senior roster players. Let’s just assume any additional players they bring up from USL are going on the supplemental or reserve rosters. Could Lancaster end up there, sure, but that’s not the point of this exercise. I took all salary information for the MLS Player Guide.
I’ve taken two sample rosters, FC Cincinnati and Sporting KC. Cincinnati being the most recent expansion team and KC being where Mike Jacobs was before and a team Nashville will be comparable to team salary wise. At least that’s what we’ve been previously told. Nashville won’t spend like LA or Atlanta, but by spending smarter like KC can be competitive. It’s interesting because if you look at the total team compensation chart below, KC is just slightly ahead of Atlanta currently spending the 5th most. That’s a bit misleading as Atlanta has paid about $30 million just to sign Barco and Pity. But it gives a good overall picture. If Nashville SC ends up in the Top 10 year one I’d be happy.
Overall teams are fairly tight, with the Top 3 sides, Toronto, LA Galaxy and Chicago Fire spending a good bit more than other clubs. This is due almost entirely to poorly written DP contracts. Toronto is paying Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore both over $6,000,000 while Chicago was paying Schweinsteiger $5,600,000 (he retired). The Galazy are/were paying Zlatan $7,000,000 and someone (MLS or LA) paid Gio dos Santos $6,000,000 even though he was no longer on a MLS roster. These teams are all paying the price for inflated DP contracts. Nashville won’t make that mistake as I don’t see them spending over $2 million for any one player.
So let’s look at the disaster that is FC Cincinnati. Cincinnati was the worst team in MLS history with a goal differential of -44, officially all alone for worst in history (previous record was -37 jointly held by 2013 DC United & Chivas USA). They also set an MLS record for most goals allowed in 75. Record of 74 was set the previous year by Orlando City. So the first thing that jumps out is they were cheap. FC Cincinnati spent over $4 million (basically 50%) less than Sporting KC. To make matters worse they were paying $2 million or about 25% of their entire roster salary to Adi. What a dumpster fire. It has to get better next year, but they are a mess.
Their most expensive player, Johnny Russel, makes less than Adi at $1.7 million. So down the roster at every spot from two on down the KC player makes nearly 50% more than his “spot” on the FC Cincinnati roster. It is just a much better build. Of course, the extra $4,000,000 helps too.
First, I just posted 2019 salaries for those that had them so it was apples to apples with the other two rosters. In bold, I took wild guess at Mukhtar and Leal. I could be way off. We’ll see when MLS releases this information next year. Anyway, if Nashville spends anywhere close to KC, it looks pretty good. Mike Jacobs has mentioned keeping some powder dry to see how the squad comes together. Being able to add one significant piece say during the Summer transfer window might work best long term. There are 11 senior roster slots left to be filled. If Nashville spends like Cincinnati, that would be $342,000 per player. If it spends like Sporting KC, that is $712,000 per player. Yahtzee! I suspect they’ll end up somewhere between.
They should add at least 3 players during the expansion draft and will have just over half a dozen more players to add. Another DP would be ideal, but my guess is they hold their biggest DP signing for 2022. So far so good. Obviously a lot will depend on how well Leal and Mukhtar do. Anyway, they clearly need several more players on the backline and a number 9 needs to be signed as well. No one knows for sure, but they have millions in GAM and TAM to spend as well. Most are speculating that TAM will go way in the new CBA being discussed right now. If that is true, I’m not sure if that makes the large amount Nashville has more or less valuable. But that won’t matter if there is a strike. Buckle up, MLS is going to be fun.