Nashville SC made a major move in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft on Tuesday. The Coyotes moved up 16 spots to select defender Ahmed Longmire from UCLA, sending Colorado Rapids $125,000 in General Allocation Money, as well as the 26th overall pick and $50k in conditional GAM.
Longmire spent two seasons at UCLA, transferring to the Bruins after two seasons at Utah Valley University. He started all 12 matches in his first season in California and was named to the 2020-21 Pac-12 All-Conference Second Team. The 22-year-old is versatile, a center back who’s also capable of playing as a right back. If not for injury concerns that kept him from participating in the MLS Combine, it’s likely that he would have been selected higher than 10th overall.
It’s an interesting selection from Nashville, who clearly rate Longmire highly enough to move up 16 spots, despite having a wealth of center back depth already rostered. Walker Zimmerman is the best defender in MLS, with Dave Romney and Jack Maher excellent partners in a back three. Robert Castellanos is highly rated within the club, and they just selected Josh Bauer in the Re-Entry Draft.
It’s possible that Nashville view Longmire’s as an option at right back, the biggest area of need in Nashville’s squad to date.
After taking Longmire with the second-highest SuperDraft pick in club history, Nashville selected Akron goalkeeper Will Meyer with the 10th pick in the second round, continuing Nashville’s tradition of drafting goalkeepers.
Meyer played three seasons at the University of Louisville, playing in 15 matches, before transferring to Akron in 2020. As a Zip, Meyer played 27 matches, as well as being named the Men’s Soccer National Player of the Week in September 2021 for two consecutive six save matches.
Meyer is the third goalkeeper Nashville have selected in the draft. Elliot Panicco was picked 13th overall in the 2020 SuperDraft and served as the backup ‘keeper for the 2020 season before spending a year on loan with Austin Bold in the USL Championship. He’ll have a chance to earn the backup job in 2022. Tor Saunders was selected in the third round of the 2021 draft but saw his option declined following the season.
Meyer will get a chance to make a mark in Nashville’s preseason camp, with a loan to USL in keeping with past SuperDraft picks.