Nashville SC sign winger McKinze Gaines

NASHVILLE, TN – Nashville SC have officially traded for winger McKinze Gaines from Charlotte FC. Nashville send their second round SuperDraft pick (#38 overall) the other way in exchange for Gaines, whose had his option declined by Charlotte this offseason.

“McKinze has the pace to be an absolute goal threat and is a very willing runner who looks to create and finish scoring chances,” said Nashville SC General Manager Mike Jacobs in the club’s press release.

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Gaines, 25, grew up in Austin, TX, and began his professional career in the lower levels of German soccer, including spells with Darmstadt and Hannover 96. Gaines earned a contract with Austin FC after a successful trial in 2021, and spent the next two years with Charlotte FC. All told, Gaines has three goals and five assists from 52 MLS appearances.

At just over $100,000 in guaranteed compensation, Gaines is at the lower end of the salary spectrum, possibly even occupying a place in the supplemental roster. He’s had flashes in Charlotte, but has never been a double-digit goal contributor, and while Nashville like his upside, he’s also not likely to fix their secondary goal-scoring issues.

Nashville appear to be turning over the lower half of their roster, and Gaines’ signing gives them an attacking upgrade off the bench, improving their late-game options. This has been a major weakness for Nashville in the last two seasons, whose incredibly limited attacking depth has forced them to sacrifice any real scoring threat when needing to make substitutions.

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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