Film Fridays: Jack Maher

Hello and welcome to another Film Friday.

Today, we are talking about Jack Maher. The Nashville SC defender earned the starting job this season after the departure of Dave Romney, and he has been stellar ever since. He’s one of four players this season to play every single MLS minute for Nashville SC.

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Before we get started, just a quick reminder that all stats in this video are for the MLS season only. 

Defending

Maher is a defender, so we should naturally start with his defending. He ranks fourth among NSC players in tackles won and interceptions. While those numbers might not seem incredibly impressive, Maher uses his positioning and cleverness to make life difficult for attackers. He covers a lot of ground and has the quick feet to recover when needed. 

Which is also why he leads the team in clearances. As a defender, being at the right position at the right time is more important than making a tackle. As a matter of fact, it prevents you from making a tackle.

Another great stat for Maher is that he has only committed nine fouls this season and has one yellow card. To put that into perspective, Walker Zimmerman matches those numbers, and he has played 500 fewer minutes.

Speaking of Zimmerman, Maher is also a threat in the air. He has not scored yet this season, but he has been great on the other side of the pitch. He is second to only Teal Bunbury in aerial duels won this season.

In possession

Now, let’s talk about him while Nashville has the ball. Maher leads Nashville in passes completed and ball receptions. While the bulk of his passes are easy and quick, he still plays a major role in connecting Joe Willis to the rest of the team and connecting the two flanks.

League-wide recognition

Lastly, Maher’s season has not gone unnoticed. He’s had praise from the media:

“Jack Maher, NSC center back, he’s been really great. Nashville up and down the organization have been talking about how highly they think of Jack Maher since they drafted him, since he got into the first team and started playing more regular minutes last year. This year he’s kind of stepped up, even with Walker Zimmerman missing some time. He’s been really, really good.”

The Athletic’s Tom Bogert on Extratime

He’s had praise from the coaching staff:

“Of course, Jack Maher made a magnificent challenge when there was a little bit of a mixup on the halfway line and the ball was lost.”

Nashville SC head coach Gary Smith

He’s had praise from teammates:

“Getting a string of starts, obviously, this year he’s been a fixture for us. And I think it’s done him a world of good, and he makes my life extremely easy on the offensive side of things. So I give a lot of credit to Jack and how we’re able to use that relationship to be productive on the offensive side of the ball.

Nashville SC left back Dan Lovitz.

And of course, the fans.

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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