UPDATE OCT 19, 8:37 AM: The Washington Post‘s Steven Goff has reported that Nashville will send left-back/winger Jimmy Medranda plus cash to Seattle.
Expecting Seattle to receive Jimmy Medranda and cash.— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) October 19, 2020
UPDATE OCT 19, 6:58 AM: Seattle head coach Brian Schmetzer confirmed last night that Bwana is indeed being traded to Nashville.
Sounders are getting an attacking left-footed player in return. A much bigger hint than I figured we’d get.— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) October 19, 2020
The confirmation that Nashville are sending a left-footed attacker in return is especially interesting. This narrows it down to a very small number of potential options.
Dom Badji and Derrick Jones are both left footed (whether or not Derrick Jones is technically an attacker is up for debate), but both have played pretty large roles for Nashville and it would be surprising to see either traded, especially since Badji is likely out for another couple weeks.
Initially, Jimmy Medranda seems like the most likely option. The winger/left-back/midfielder has played just 14 minutes this season, all in a single appearance off the bench against Portland back in March. Injury issues have plagued him throughout his career, and have limited his time on the pitch for Nashville in 2020. Trading for Bwana would at least give Nashville a more consistently healthy option.
It should be noted that this is not a guarantee of who Nashville will trade. Schmetzer’s comments narrow the options down to a very short list, though, and Medranda makes a lot of sense.
We’ll have more on this transfer when it’s officially announced.
TRANSFER TRACKER TIER: REPORT
Nashville SC are set to add more attacking talent. According to a report from The Washington Post‘s Steven Goff, Nashville will acquire Handwalla Bwana from Seattle Sounders.
Getting word Seattle Sounders preparing to trade homegrown attacker Handwalla Bwana, 21, to Nashville, which will extend his contract. Awaiting details. U.S. citizen since Aug, in mix for U23/Olympic squad. 3rd-year pro: 32 league matches, 14 starts, 4 goals, 3 assists. #mls— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) October 18, 2020
Bwana, 21, came through the Sounders academy system, spending time with Tacoma Defiance, their USL affiliate, as well as with the first team. Primarily a left winger, Bwana is also capable of playing on the right or behind the striker. He’s scored four goals and assisted three in just 1,456 minutes with the Sounders, a solid return of 0.46 g+a per 96.
Bwana has spent all of the 2020 season with the Sounders, playing in six matches and named to the bench another five times.
Bwana was born in Somalia, the son of a former professional player. After spending several years in a refugee camp in Kenya, his family relocated to the United States in 2010, eventually settling in Seattle.
Bwana’s potential is evident, and could inject a spark into a Nashville attack that has struggled. The Sounders have plenty of depth on the wings, and finding consistent minutes in Seattle is a struggle. For him, a change of scenery could boost his career. For Nashville, Bwana could inject a spark of unpredictability into the attack.