Taylor Washington: 2023 report card

Taylor Washington was a fixture in the match-day squad for Nashville SC in 2023, continuing his role as a reliable depth option.

Taylor Washington 2023 Grade: B

2023 by the numbers

Matches played: 29 (14th on Nashville SC)
Minutes played: 924 (19th on Nashville SC)
Goals: 1 (T-9th on Nashville SC)
Assists: 1 (T-11th on Nashville SC)
Goal contributions per 96 minutes: 0.21 (9th on Nashville SC)

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2023 in review

It was more of the same for Washington in 2023: hard-working, reliable fill-in play off the bench, with an occasional start mixed in. With Dan Lovitz firmly entrenched as the starting left back and several names in front of him on the wings, Washington’s primary usage came off the bench.

Often brought in to close out games, he made 29 appearances, and was in the match-day squad for 45 of Nashville’s 46 matches in 2023.

Never injured and always available, Washington has turned into a favorite of Gary Smith, and his work-rate and pace generally have covered for an inconsistent final ball. With Nashville dealing with the most crowded schedule yet as an MLS club, having a player like Washington in the squad was a plus.

Looking forward

Nashville selected left-back Joey Skinner in last year’s SuperDraft, and after an impressive debut season with Huntsville City FC, he should make a push for more minutes in MLS. While Washington has a relatively stable floor, Skinner has a much higher ceiling, particularly when it comes to attacking production.

Washington fell victim to Nashville’s stark lack of attacking depth in 2023, often brought on to provide service into the box late in games, something he hasn’t consistently been able to do at the MLS level. Still, he’s a favorite of Gary Smith on a team-friendly budget charge. To date, he’s been in the match-day squad for a staggering 95% of Nashville’s games in MLS, and that level of availability shouldn’t be glossed over.

Even more, Washington is a fixture off the field. The sole surviving member of Nashville’s USL Championship side, he’s made a massive impact off the field for Nashville, thrice named the club’s Humanitarian of the Year, and featured in MLS’s “Celebrating Impact” series. He’s been one of the most publicly active players in the local community, with his work among the homeless community and fight against childhood cancer especially prominent.

As much as he’s been reliable to Nashville on the field, he’s even more important to them off the field, and should return in 2024.

Moment of the season

In his fourth MLS season, Washington grabbed his first goal at the top level of American soccer. He did it in style, too, smashing home a karate-kick volley against CF Montréal to secure a 2-0 win.

Previous report cards:

Joe Willis (A-) | Dan Lovitz (A) | Lukas MacNaughton (A) | Jack Maher (A-) | Dax McCarty (B+) | Fafà Picault (A) | Randall Leal (D) | Sam Surridge (B-) | Hany Mukhtar (B-) | Ethan Zubak (D) | Teal Bunbury (C-) | Jacob Shaffelburg (B-) | Shaq Moore (B) | Alex Muyl (B+) | Aníbal Godoy (C+) | Josh Bauer (B-)

Author: Ben Wrightis the Director of Soccer Content and a Senior MLS Contributor for Broadway Sports covering Nashville SC and the US National Team. Previously Ben was the editor and a founder of Speedway Soccer, where he has covered Nashville SC and their time in USL before journeying to Major League Soccer since 2018. Raised in Louisville, KY Ben grew up playing before a knee injury ended his competitive career. When he is not talking soccer he is probably producing music, drinking coffee or hanging out with his wife and kids. Mastodon

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