Aníbal Godoy: 2023 report card

Aníbal Godoy continued to play a major role for Nashville SC in 2023, providing plenty of veteran leadership, but ultimately wasn’t able to overcome the ball progression issues that plagued the Coyotes’ midfield.

Aníbal Godoy 2023 grade: C+

2023 by the numbers

Matches played: 32 (13th on Nashville SC)
Minutes played: 2,594 (8th on Nashville SC)
Goals: 1 (T-9th on Nashville SC)
Assists: 1 (T-7th on Nashville SC)
Goal contributions per 96 minutes: 0.07 (11th on Nashville SC)

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2023 in review

Godoy started Nashville’s season opener, but injured his shoulder on a nasty fall that saw him miss the next three matches. After returning, he was a regular starter in league play until missing seven matches mid-season with Panama at the Gold Cup. Once he returned, Godoy was a written-in-pen starter, playing in 18 of Nashville’s final 19 matches of the season (15 starts) and was a mainstay of their run to the Leagues Cup final.

Mostly deployed on the left-hand side of Nashville’s diamond midfield, Godoy was a bit of a mixed bag on the field. He was tidy with the ball and was Nashville’s best player at getting his body between the defender and the ball, leading to several free kicks in the attacking half for Nashville. His main struggles came on the ball.

Too often he waited too long to play a diagonal ball into space, allowing the defenders to recover and shift into that space. Contrasted with Dax McCarty, whose ability to play line-breaking passes quickly, Godoy slowed down Nashville’s ball progression and often slowed momentum.

In the moments he was asked to play as a six, sitting at the base of the diamond, he generally sped possession up and was more decisive with the ball. But for too much of the season, Godoy wasn’t able to generate the type of entry passes that Nashville sorely lacked.

Looking forward

Godoy signed a new contract with Nashville in 2021. No details on the length of the deal were given at signing, but if it was a standard two years guaranteed, Nashville will have an option to trigger this offseason. At $821,250 in guaranteed compensation, Godoy is the 6th-highest earner on Nashville’s roster.

With Dax McCarty a free agent, it would be surprising to see Nashville part with Godoy. He’ll turn 34 before the MLS season starts, though, and has seen his minutes decrease the past two seasons. He’ll almost certainly be back in 2024, but don’t be surprised if Nashville decline his option and negotiate a new deal at a lower rate, looking to bring in younger and more dynamic options ahead of their next season.

Moment of the season

Godoy’s only goal of 2023 was a crucial one, putting Nashville SC ahead in their Leagues Cup Round of 32 match against Cincinnati. While Cincinnati equalized, Nashville ended up victorious in penalty kicks, with Godoy converting his spot kick.

Previous report cards:

Joe Willis (A-) | Dan Lovitz (A) | Lukas MacNaughton (A) | Jack Maher (A-) | Dax McCarty (B+) | Fafà Picault (A) | Randall Leal (D) | Sam Surridge (C+) | Hany Mukhtar (B-) | Ethan Zubak (D) | Teal Bunbury (C-) | Jacob Shaffelburg (B-) | Shaq Moore (B) | Alex Muyl (B+)

Author: Ben Wrightis the Director of Soccer Content and a Senior MLS Contributor for Broadway Sports covering Nashville SC and the US National Team. Previously Ben was the editor and a founder of Speedway Soccer, where he has covered Nashville SC and their time in USL before journeying to Major League Soccer since 2018. Raised in Louisville, KY Ben grew up playing before a knee injury ended his competitive career. When he is not talking soccer he is probably producing music, drinking coffee or hanging out with his wife and kids. Mastodon

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