NASHVILLE, TN – Nashville SC selected five players in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft on Wednesday night. The Boys in Gold added pieces for the future that will use to fill out the roster of Huntsville City FC. Huntsville is Nashville SC’s new, reserve side in MLS NEXT Pro that will begin play next year. Mike Jacobs will be hoping that with enough development time a couple of the players selected Wednesday will become contributors for the senior team.
Here are the selections Nashville made.
Round 1, Pick 11
LB – Clemson
Nashville selected the Clemson defender with the 11th overall pick. Skinner, 19, is a young left-back that steps in behind Daniel Lovitz and Taylor Washington on the depth chart. He will likely spend a considerable amount of time developing with Huntsville City this season. Nashville hopes that Skinner develops into the heir apparent for Lovitz, 31. As a Generation Adidas signee, Skinner will not count against the salary cap for the next few seasons.
Round 2, Pick 6
D – Charlotte
Nashville selected Charlotte 49ers defender Sean Suber with their second selection. Suber was named to the all-AAC second team. Suber is another Charlotte native having graduated from Mallard Creek, a school noted for producing plenty of athletes over the years.
Round 2, Pick 20
F – Tulsa
Alex Meinhard, 24, is an old hand compared to the rest of the draft class. Meinhard is a former Estonia youth international having played with the U19 squad. He scored 12 goals in the 2022 college season earning the AAC Offensive Player of the Year award. Meinhard was also named to the Top Drawer Soccer preseason Best XI Team.
As much as Nashville values international slots, I wouldn’t expect to see Meinhard with the first team until he obtains a green card (he could already have it – we’ll know more when the club confirms). However, the team needs more scoring threats and one stellar preseason camp may be enough to convince the club otherwise.
Round 3, Pick 20
M – New Hampshire
Rory O’Driscoll is a central midfielder hailing from Minneapolis. In 2022, he scored four goals and pitched in two assists for the Wildcats. Like the other draftees, I would expect to see O’Driscoll spend this coming season developing in Huntsville.
Round 3, Pick 26
F – Villanova
Lyam MacKinnon is a Swiss forward that spent time in the FC Lusanne youth system. He was captain of the club’s U21 side. Another international, I don’t expect to see MacKinnon with the senior roster until he obtains a green card.
We’ll know more about Nashville’s plans for these five players as preseason progresses. The proximity of Huntsville City FC this season makes it much easier to keep players involved in the squad, and give them valuable game minutes in a professional environment.