NASHVILLE, TN – Nashville SC announced Thursday the signing of defender Nick DePuy from LA Galaxy. Nashville acquired the center back for $50,000 in GAM as well as a selection in the 2024 MLS SuperDraft. The move comes on the same day that Nashville traded Dave Romney to New England Revolution.
Depuy, 28, is a 6’5″ center back from Irvine, California. After four seasons in the NCAA with UC Santa Barbara, he was drafted by CF Montréal with the 19th pick of the MLS SuperDraft, only playing five matches before signing with LA Galaxy II in the USL Championship.
Back in his home state, DePuy made 25 appearances for Los Dos in 2019, earning an MLS contract in 2020. In his three seasons with the Galaxy, DePuy played 59 matches. He started 14 games for the Galaxy in 2022.
Without Romney, who played 91 matches for the ‘Yotes in three seasons, Nashville needed experienced MLS cover for Walker Zimmerman and Jack Maher. DePuy provides that, with a similar profile to Romney as a player who showed promise for the Galaxy, but couldn’t quite lock down a place in the lineup.
Since 2020, DePuy has been the ninth-best center back in MLS, according to American Soccer Analysis‘s Goals Added model. With a G+ score of 0.03 per 96 in 5,038 minutes played, DePuy is ranked ahead of both Jack Maher (-0.02) and Dave Romney (-0.01). It’s certainly not the be all, end all, but DePuy’s underlying numbers show readiness for a larger role, perhaps similar to what Nashville saw in Romney back in 2019.
If you buy into moneyball, the move makes a lot of sense. In addition to netting $250,000 GAM from the Romney trade (Nashville acquired him for $275,000 and sold him for $525,000), Nashville cut salary costs. After signing a new contract with Nashville in 2020, Romney’s salary was $475,000 in 2022. DePuy made $231,000 in 2022, saving Nashville $244,000.
It’s worth noting that Jack Maher has aged out of his generation adidas contract, which previously kept him off of Nashville’s salary budget. In 2022, he made $164,000, and while he’s likely in line for a new contract and a raise, both he and DePuy’s salaries fit into the savings accrued by trading Romney.
With Maher and Zimmerman the likely center back pairing to start the season, DePuy provides proven cover in defense, capable of starting his share of games while giving players like Ahmed Longmire more time to develop.