Tom Judge: a coach’s perspective

Nashville SC added another option on the left flank in the 2021 SuperDraft, selecting Tom Judge with the ninth pick of the second round. A defender from James Madison University, Judge was named to the First Team All-CAA in his junior year, and has tallied three goals and four assists in 56 collegiate appearances.

“There aren’t too many players out there that have as good of a base to work with, so he will only get better with time,” said Paul Zazenski, head coach of JMU Men’s Soccer.  “When Tom is playing confident, he can be one of the most dynamic outside back or wingers in soccer.”

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As with all of Nashville’s selections, positional versatility was a key factor. Judge is no exception, with general manager Mike Jacobs saying he “can play anywhere up and down the left side”.

“He is a dynamic player able to play wingback and drive forward or play as a true winger for his service and play making ability,” Zazenski told Broadway Sports. “Tom is very hard to beat in one-versus-one defending situations due to his athleticism. He competes everyday and is a very tough and durable player, having played 90 minutes for us almost every game throughout his time at JMU.”

With players like USMNT veteran Dan Lovitz and USL standout Taylor Washington ahead of him, Judge has an uphill battle to carve out a role for himself in this Nashville SC team. Zazenski, though, is optimistic.

“I think once Tom adjusts to the speed of play, there is no limit to what he will be able to achieve as a professional,” he said. “His ability to glide by players with ease and be a lock-down one-versus-one defender are things that can separate him from others.  We are confident that his competitiveness on the field will allow him to excel in highest of competitive levels.”

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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