Nashville SC kick off their 2022 season in just five days. After two consecutive years in the postseason, can the Coyotes repeat while moving into the Western Conference? To do so, their key players will need to step up. We’re continuing our season preview with a look at which player is most important to success in year three.
Jonathan Slape: Hany Mukhtar. We saw how this team struggled in the offensive half when Mukhtar wasn’t on the field. He is the lynch pin of the offense and without him Nashville will struggle to fin the back of the net.
Lucas Panzica: Hany Mukhtar. Nashville goes as he goes.
Ben Wright: Everyone’s going to say Mukhtar, and they’re right. I’m going to change it up just to be different, though, and say that it’s Sean Davis. He was the main offseason acquisition, and I think he’ll be a constant in midfield, with Godoy on international duty and McCarty rotated more than we’ve seen before. The midfield is going to have even more two-way work in this 3-4-3 formation, and he’ll be absolutely key to that.
Davey Shepherd: Look we’re all doing the thing where we say guys other than Hany/Walker. Those two are clearly in a different place than anyone else on the roster. Having them squared away, If this team is going to be as good as I think they can be, the answer has to be Loba. As good as guys like CJ Sapong, Randall Leal or Daniel Ríos have been, the team has to have another guy who can bag a goal every time out there. Loba is being paid to be that dude.
Andy Simmons: I’m with Ben and think Sean Davis’ role for this side is as pivotal as it gets. Remember, this side’s true “weakness” was depth at the holding midfield spot. Although Brian Anunga has tons of potential, he’s still quite limited in what he can do. Additionally, McCarty is not getting any younger and will need more time in between matches to preserve his capabilities. If Davis comes in and makes that immediate impact, watch out.
Chris Ivey: It’s Hany Mukhtar. If he is injured or drops off in production, Nashville will slide down the table. His offensive contribution is too tough to replicate.