International breaks are brutal for #content, so I took an easy out and asked you to help me. We talked Hany Mukhtar’s future in Nashville, names to watch from Huntsville City, NSC players as guitar pedals (??), and an ultimate Nashville five-a-side team.
This was fun. Let’s dive in.
I try to avoid absolutes, but I would put this as close to a 0% chance. I think it’s much more likely that Mukhtar signs a new long-term deal and gets a raise.
Outside of Sipic, are there any young players fans should excited about contributing in the next year or so? We seem to be the only team without a solid U-22 player.— Grant Brasher (@GrantDBrasher) September 15, 2023
Adem Sipić is the obvious one, although he hasn’t exactly lit MLS NEXT Pro on fire. He’s started just five of Huntsville’s 27 games and has scored just twice. I think he’ll get a shot with Nashville next year, but I expect it will be Ethan Zubak-levels of first-team involvement, with a good bit of time spent with Huntsville.
Azaad Liadi really interests me. Nashville badly need depth up top, and he’s been really good. He has 12 goals in just over 1,400 minutes and has the third-best goals per 90 rate of any player with at least 1,300 minutes. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s given a shot to earn a place on the team in preseason. Joey Skinner and Fernando Cicerón are others who I think could get looks from Nashville next year.
One last name to watch for the future is Isaiah Jones. He’s a 17-year-old box-to-box midfielder from Nashville’s academy, and has been a regular participant with Nashville SC in first-team training this season. Jones wasn’t in a matchday squad for Huntsville’s first 20 matches of the season, but has started four of their last seven.
Jones has a lot of work to do on the ball to be able to contribute at the MLS level. He’s still fairly conservative on the ball, and he tends to lose possession a bit too easily, but he has a fantastic engine and excels at breaking up play. At just 17, he has plenty of time to develop, and the fact that he’s already getting starting reps at a professional level says a lot about how Nashville rate him. I’m really excited to see how he develops.
Including spinoff and 'prequel,' we have 12 movies in the expanded Fast & Furious universe. Describe our Preferred XI plus Gary as F&F films, please. Sorry, not a question. Please?— David H (@ConanOGrindin) September 15, 2023
I watched the first one. Didn’t love it. Didn’t watch the rest. Not sorry.
Players as guitar pedals is rough. This will be bad, but I’ll try based on what I have on my board right now.
- Joe Willis – PolyTune 3 Mini: this thing will save you.
- Dan Lovitz – Ernie Ball Volume Pedal: You don’t usually notice it all the time, but if you need a bit of extra punch in a key moment, it’s a game changer.
- Dax McCarty – Strymon BlueSky: Adds a ton of intangibles, ties the whole thing together, and helps everything stand out in key moments.
- Hany Mukhtar – Wampler Overdrive: Ties the whole thing together. It doesn’t stand out for 75% of the song, but when you need a standout solo you just dial it up and everything pops. You also don’t realize how important it is until it’s gone.
- Jacob Shaffelburg – Boss DD7 Delay: You don’t have to have it, but man, everything is more fun and sounds better with it.
- Sam Surridge – Walrus ACS1: Caps everything off and brings the finished product.
Across NSC history, who’s your five-a-side team?— Valair (@valairshabilla) September 15, 2023
- Goalkeeper: Bryan Meredith. Super underrated with his feet. I want my five-a-side goalkeeper to be able to play.
- Defender: Dan Lovitz. My team only plays with one true defender. We’re bold like that. Lovitz is great on the ball, can cover lots of ground, is comfortable with either foot and can carry the ball into midfield.
- Midfielder: Dax McCarty. Great passer, easily has the engine to cover everything in five-a-side, and will keep the whole thing organized.
- Midfielder: Hany Mukhtar. Duh.
- Forward: Rodrigo Piñeiro. It sucks it didn’t work out in Nashville, but Piñeiro was one of the best pure attackers Nashville have had. He would have started for several other MLS clubs. Throw him up top in five-a-side, don’t expect him to defend, and just let him run at defenders.