MLS offseason is in full swing, with clubs making signings left and right to improve their rosters and prepare for an arduous 2021 campaign. Nashville SC is no different, although the changes won’t be as drastic as in other clubs around the country.
“We spent most of the 2020 season trying to create a foundation. A goal for us was to have roster and cap flexibility as we head into 2021,” said Nashville General Manager Mike Jacobs. “We have a nucleus in place. There’s not a lot needed to get us into the 2021 season.”
Jacobs drew parallels to Nashville’s expansion campaign, where the club didn’t fill their roster to start the year, but left space for them to sign players midseason. Alex Muyl and Handwalla Bwana were both acquired from within the league during 2020, and the club also signed striker Jhonder Cádiz as a designated player. While Jacobs says the Bwana and Cádiz signings were geared more towards 2021, he plans to take a similar approach to the roster build this offseason.
“We feel like we’ve been arming and preparing ourselves to not only get into the start of the season, but preparing ourselves for when the time comes to make additional moves during the year, we’ll do that.”
So far this offseason, Nashville have already traded an international roster spot to Atlanta for $175,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM). That doesn’t mean that Nashville won’t look to bring in international attackers. In fact, Jacobs says it means the opposite.
“We’re selling international spots because we’re flipping green cards so quickly,” Jacobs pointed out with a grin. “In our league, the biggest asset you can have is GAM. If people want to penalize us for flipping international spots for the most valuable asset in our league, that’s fine. We know how many international spots we need.”
Nashville currently have four players occupying international spots. Hany Mukhtar, Randall Leal and Jhonder Cádiz each take up a spot, as well as Colombian center-back Miguel Nazarit. Those spots may not be filled for long, though, as Jacobs said the club will announce shortly the acquisition of green cards for some of them.
That paves the way for new signings.
“You can expect to hear something shortly about a new addition we’ll have on that front… We’ll have at least one other attacking player who will push and challenge for that group,” said Jacobs.
Jacobs said that the signings won’t be en-masse, adding “we’re comfortable with the group we have.” The first expansion side to win a playoff match in 22 years, Nashville aren’t going to fix what isn’t broken. They’ll stick with the core they have with a couple of upgrades sprinkled in. Given how 2020 went, that’s probably a good thing.