Nashville SC have traded away a core piece of their roster, sending center-back Dave Romney to the New England Revolution. First reported by The Bent Musket‘s Seth Man, Romney will link up with Bruce Arena, his former manager with the LA Galaxy.
Romney, 29, was acquired from the Galaxy ahead of Nashville’s debut season in 2020 for $275,000 in GAM. The defender, a rotation player in Carson, immediately became a fixture for the ‘Yotes, playing every minute of their first 59 matches before missing his first match due to injury. Overall, Romney started 94 of Nashville’s 101 matches during his spell in Music City and played the most minutes of any outfield player.
While Romney is certainly the most central player Nashville have traded away in their three seasons as a club, the rationale behind the move adds up. New England’s offer was enticing for Nashville, who will make $250,000 in GAM from the trade over Romney’s initial acquisition costs.
More importantly, it makes room for Jack Maher to take a step forward into a larger role. Maher, 23, was selected second overall in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. He’s a talented player, and one who would start for plenty of other teams around the league, but found himself stuck behind Romney and Walker Zimmerman in Nashville.
Maher is highly rated by Nashville’s staff, and made 30 appearances (23 starts) in 2022. There won’t be much, if any, drop-off with a center-back pairing of Jack Maher and Walker Zimmerman, and while trading a long-term starter to a potential conference rival is never ideal, the move is in keeping with Nashville’s approach to roster building and makes room for a promising young player to move into a bigger role.
Updated January 5
Nashville SC officially announced the trade on Thursday. New England will send them $250,000 GAM in 2023 and $275,000 in 2024.