We’re continuing our Nashville SC report cards with a look at midfielder Aníbal Godoy.
Position: Defensive midfielder
Matches played: 20
Minutes played: 1,682
Goals added: -0.07 (52nd among MLS midfielders)
xPass Score: 45.38 (3rd among MLS midfielders)
xG+xA: 1.37 (55th among MLS midfielders)
Average Speedway Soccer rating: 7.2
Average WhoScored rating: 7.0
What went right in 2020?
Nashville spent big to get Godoy, and he largely repaid that on the field. One of the best passers of the ball in MLS, Godoy instantly formed a strong partnership with Dax McCarty that was one of the key elements of the expansion team.
Always strong in the tackle, Godoy’s passing range was a major part of Nashville’s identity on the ball. He was consistently able to switch the point of attack and relieve pressure, and while Nashville didn’t often dominate in possession, he was key to opening up space.
Godoy developed a solid understanding with McCarty in the double pivot role, alternating pushing forward and staying back. While Nashville’s backline gets most of the praise for their stellar defense, Godoy and McCarty were crucial to this, breaking up attacks before they became dangerous and shielding the back four.
What went wrong in 2020?
Godoy missed nine matches in 2019 with complications following an abdominal surgery, and Nashville hoped most of those injury issues were behind him. However, Godoy missed three matches in October with an undisclosed issue, and a hamstring issue flared up in their playoff win over Miami. It kept him out for the remainder of the postseason.
At 30, Godoy was consistently able to play 90 minutes for Nashville, and is one of the most fit players on the team. However, minor injuries seem to pile up, and while it’s not time to panic, it’s definitely something to keep an eye on.
What needs to improve in 2021?
Health is the main issue for Godoy, especially with the 2021 season likely to be another condensed schedule. He’s also likely to see plenty of international duty for Panama this season. Staying healthy when he’s with Nashville and being able to get on the field in key moments will be crucial.
Most memorable moment
Godoy scored a banger with his weaker right foot to give Nashville a 1-0 win over Inter Miami.