Nashville SC are in the market for another high-profile attacker. First reported by MLSSoccer.com‘s Tom Bogert, the second-year club is interested in Toluca forward Michael Estrada.
Estrada, 25, currently plays for Toluca in Liga MX, where he’s scored 16 goals and added 5 assists in 50 appearances. An Ecuadorian international, Estrada came through the ranks at Macará, where he scored 20 goals in 41 matches before strinds at El Nacional and Independiente del Valle.
Estrada joined Toluca in December 2019 for a reported $2.97 million. He played in all 34 league matches in 2021, scoring 10 goals and assisting four. The 6-2 striker is currently on international duty with Ecuador, who take on Peru this afternoon. La Tri are currently in third place in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying standings.
Estrada fits the physical profile of striker that Gary Smith prefers, but combines his size with pace and movement unlike any striker currently on their roster. He has explosive speed and exceptional close control, and his finishing ability is backed up by an exceptional scoring record. In 192 career appearances, he’s scored 75 goals and assisted another 29. That’s a goal involvement every 117 minutes.
Nashville currently have another DP striker in Jhonder Cádiz, who is on loan from Benfica through the end of June. Nashville have a purchase option for a reported $3 million, and could possibly extend his loan for an additional period. Bogert reports that a new striker would not be signed to replace Cádiz but to compliment him.
Raúl Ruidíaz for the Seattle Sounders was a similar profile DP signing. Ruidíaz had a similar scoring record for Morelia, another mid-table Mexican side, while regularly playing in the Peruvian national team set up. He was sold to Seattle for $7 million in 2018 after back-to-back scoring titles.
Broadway Sports Media can confirm that Nashville are pursuing attacking options, and will look to strengthen their front line in the summer window. After buying down Randall Leal’s DP contract, the club have an open DP slot and two U22 Initiative slots to work with. With plenty of budget space and resources to work with, Nashville are primed to make a move or two.
Nashville SC are currently in seventh place in MLS’s Eastern Conference. They’re one of two unbeaten sides in the league, along with Seattle in the West.