We’re continuing our Nashville SC report cards with a look at midfielder Matt LaGrassa.
Position: Center midfielder
Matches played: 9
Minutes played: 421
Goals added: -0.24 (30th among MLS midfielders)
xPass Score: 3.38 (18th among MLS midfielders)
xG+xA: 0.37 (41st among MLS midfielders)
Average Speedway Soccer rating: 6.7
Average WhoScored rating: 6.5
What went right in 2020?
LaGrassa signed an MLS contract with Nashville after leading their USL squad with 65 appearances across two years. While LaGrassa only made nine appearances for Nashville in MLS, he was in the squad for 19 of their 26 matches.
With the compressed 2020 schedule, LaGrassa played more than was expected at the start of the season. Although he saw under 500 minutes, he didn’t look out of place at the MLS level.
LaGrassa was especially impressive in October, starting three of Nashville’s five matches, including going 90 minutes in a 0-0 draw in New England. Hard-working in defense and able to maintain possession with calm, simple passes, LaGrassa adapted well and proved to be a valuable depth piece for Nashville.
What went wrong in 2020?
LaGrassa’s 2020 season went as well or better than expected, with the midfielder playing a much bigger role in his first year than anticipated.
What needs to improve in 2021?
LaGrassa will have his work cut out to get more playing time in 2021, with Brian Anunga the clear favorite behind Dax McCarty and Aníbal Godoy in midfield. With more attacking additions, Derrick Jones could also move into his more natural center midfield role, making the group even more crowded.
Most memorable moment
Teaming up with Walker Zimmerman to fill Jack Maher’s car with cotton balls and balloons was pretty memorable.