Nashville SC finally signed a DP striker in 2023, bringing in Sam Surridge from Nottingham Forest for what could end up as a club-record transfer fee. Surridge impressed in moments, but couldn’t quite find his footing in his first half-season in Music City.
Sam Surridge 2023 Grade: B-
2023 by the numbers
Matches played: 15 (21st on Nashville SC)
Minutes played: 989 (18th on Nashville SC)
Goals: 5 (3rd on Nashville SC)
Assists: 2 (T-6th on Nashville SC)
Goal contributions per 96 minutes: 0.68 (2nd on Nashville SC)
2023 in review
Nashville didn’t officially sign Surridge until July 25, almost a month into the transfer window. In preseason mode after Nottingham Forest’s promotion campaign, Surridge took a few weeks to get up and running, not making his debut until August 8.
That debut was one of the most memorable moments in Nashville SC’s history, as Surridge’s first goal in gold was a 99th minute qualizer against Club América in the Leagues Cup Round of 16. In the chaotic penalty kick shootout that ensued, Surridge cooly chipped the ‘keeper as Nashville advanced.
Surridge would score in Nashville’s next two Leagues Cup matches, equaling Aké Loba’s entire Nashville tally in his first three appearances, and seemingly fixing the Coyotes’ striker issues immediately.
Unfortunately, like the rest of his team, Surridge dropped off significantly. He picked up an injury against Atlanta in their first game back in MLS, and never looked quite the same. He failed to score in seven matches after Leagues Cup until he finally opened his MLS tally with a brace against New England. He couldn’t carry that form into the postseason, though, as Nashville were shut out in their six of their final seven matches.
Even in an inconsistent debut season, Surridge showed a higher ceiling than any of Nashville’s prior DP strikers. His connection with Hany Mukhtar in the Leagues Cup was exciting, and though it faded down the stretch, there’s a lot to build on.
Surridge needs to find his consistency in 2024, but he certainly has the potential to be a double-digit goal scorer for Nashville next season.
Moment of the season
Surridge scored the latest goal in Nashville SC history against Club América, giving the Coyotes one of the most dramatic endings ever.