Ethan Zubak struggled to make an impact on the field in his second year with Nashville SC, seeing his minutes share drop significantly.
Ethan Zubak 2023 grade: D
2023 by the numbers
Matches played: 11 (23rd on Nashville SC)
Minutes played: 428 (24th on Nashville SC)
Goals: 1 (T-11th on Nashville SC)
Goal contributions per 96 minutes: 0.22 (8th on Nashville SC)
2023 in review
In a year where striker depth and performance was at an all-time low for Nashville SC, Zubak wasn’t able to take a step forward and make a claim for minutes with the Coyotes.
After CJ Sapong was traded to Toronto FC, Zubak seemed to be in line for more minutes while Nashville waited to sign a DP striker. However, he played in just nine of 19 matches between Sapong’s departure and Sam Surridge’s arrival, with his only starts of the year coming in the US Open Cup.
After Surridge arrived, Zubak played just once, a one-minute cameo in a 4-0 loss to Atlanta. He wasn’t in the squad for eight of Nashville’s final 11 matches.
Zubak is in an option year with Nashville SC. Initially signed to replace Daniel Ríos, he hasn’t been able to consistently get on the field with Nashville. Despite a handful of energetic showings, the final product hasn’t been there consistently enough.
With Adem Sipić already coming into the senior squad next season, Azaad Liadi impressing for Huntsville, and the need to add quality depth up front before 2024’s Concacaf Champions Cup debut, it seems likely that Nashville won’t pick up Zubak’s option.
Moment of 2023
Zubak almost scored the goal of Nashville’s season, an audacious heel-flick volley against St. Louis that fizzed just inches over the bar.
Zubak’s lone goal of 2023 was an important one, sending Nashville past USL Championship’s San Antonio FC to advance to the U.S. Open Cup Round of 32.