Nashville SC News Summary
The holidays are done and 2020 is here. After a couple weeks family time I caught up on my soccer reading over the weekend. Thought I’d share what I found most interesting. Nashville SC fans are talking about this cryptic tweet the club sent out a few days ago. It’s a huge month ahead for most MLS teams as they finish building out their rosters to start the 2020 season. The clubs first opponent, Atlanta United, might have more business to do than anyone. Gone are Darlington Nagbe, Michael Parkhurst and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez. Julian Gressel and Hector Villalba may soon join them. Atlanta has a lot of holes to fill, but they also have a ton of money to spend. Keep an eye out as they should announce some major signings soon. As for Nashville SC, it all starts with the SuperDraft on Thursday, January 9. I’m not focused or interested enough to look at what college player they will take with the 2nd pick. If you want to go down that rabbit hole there is a mock draft of the first round on the MLS website. I’ll read about whomever we select later. There is a reason Nashville SC chose to be first in the allocation order instead of picking first in the SuperDraft. For reference, last year FC Cincinnati took Frankie Amaya with the first pick. He played in 19 games last year scoring no goals with zero assists over 1241 minutes. You can’t expect this pick to be a difference maker next season. Perhaps the first pick of the 2017 SuperDraft, Abu Danladi, could break through in a big way this season, but that also is far from certain.
Nashville SC Signs Another DP
A difference maker is coming. One set of those eyes in the tweet has to be a DP signing. You can’t rush a signing so it could be before or after the preseason begins on January 18, but it surely will happen before the home opener. The DP will most likely be a forward. They have to find a player you think at least has a good chance at 15 goals this season. With the style that the team is likely to play, it would go a long way to getting Nashville into the playoffs. Don’t be fooled by anyone pointing to how many goals the team scored last season. Defense will come first for Nashville SC and goals will be hard to come by.
Earlier this week MLS veteran, Quincy Amarikwa, in a long interview by Pablo Bayona Sapag described playing for Gary Smith. Amarikwa played on Smith’s MLS Cup winning Colorado Rapids team back in 2010. He clearly didn’t like the “super defensive” style saying, “It was boring, it wasn’t fun at all.” Perhaps most interesting was, “he just doesn’t play young guys.” Given it was a decade ago I’m not sure how relevant it is today, but definitely an interesting answer. He went on to say, “That’s why I’ll give him credit. Hell yeah, we won.”
Speaking of winning, the Tennessean’s Nashville SC beat writer Drake Hill, had a modest prediction for the success Nashville SC will have this season and next year. In an interview with WPLN Nashville Public Radio his reply when asked for the realistic expectations for Nashville SC,
“I think in the first couple of years, Nashville SC they can be a solid mid table franchise fighting for the playoffs at best. They can be in that middle ground.”
This is a fair assessment for sure given the current roster. But, if a DP is signed before the season there may be reason to be a bit more optimistic with the best case scenario. Especially if you are talking the first couple of years and not just the 2020 season. Recall, Ian Ayre has said the team would hold some money back to do more business in the summer transfer window.
Much Anticipated Kits Arrive
Another set of the mystery eyes in the tweet are surely for the jersey release. I know a ton of people are excited for this. I’m not one of them and don’t think my expectations could be much lower. That could be seen as a good thing as setting a low bar has to be the only reason I’ve been able to stay married. Why do I think the jersey will be underwhelming? First, the logo is going to have the stupid border around it. I just find it hard to buy merchandise that has it. The hats with just the logo without the border are sweet and I own one. Two, Adidas is making the jersey for most/all MLS teams have three stripes on the shoulder. I don’t understand why and I don’t generally like that look. Hopefully, I’ll be pleasantly surprised. If not, never fear there is always another jersey release. My idea is for a deep navy blue (almost black) and white kit like Juventus with just the soundwave for the logo. It would be called the Johnny Cash kit.
TAM Bam No More More Thank You Mam
And like that, it’s gone. Not sure how many Nashville SC fans know or understand targeted allocation money called TAM, but it’s likely going away. This tweet from Paul Tenorio implies it. The current CBA between the owners and players expires at the end of this month. Getting rid of TAM is one of the players big wants as most of that money is going to international players and not domestic players which are the majority of union members. They also are negotiating for things like charter flights. It’s crazy to me their biggest wants aren’t a higher minimum salary. If franchises are now $350,000,000 the min salary should be six figures. I still think there is a chance the players will strike. Let’s hope not or we’ll have to wait longer for the home opener versus Atlanta United.
Third Set of Eyes
While a DP signing and jersey release are surely two of the eyes listed in the tweet what about the third? I’ve seen speculation of a season ticket holder event. Maybe, or perhaps single game tickets going on sale? I’m not sure, but with about 50 days before the Leap Day home opener there are a lot of things to be watching. With the Titans win on Saturday, don’t expect to see or hear much about Nashville SC for at least another week. In the meantime, the club is doing 15 Blue and Gold Lunch Break’s around Middle Tennessee. Basically showing up for a few hours in different locations to pass out stickers, magnets and information. You can see the locations here if interested. Antioch is up this week. They also are putting our more lengthy player profiles like this one of Dominique Badji.
Perhaps the best content the club is putting out these days are the Sound Check YouTube player profile videos. While not long, they at least give fans an introduction to the players. A tiny bit about their backgrounds and playing style. They’ve only done it for a few players so far, but I assume more are coming. Here are my favorite quotes from some so far with links to the videos.