It’s officially a match week for Nashville SC. The Boys in Gold will kick off their 2022 season on Sunday night with an away match against the Seattle Sounders. The Speedway Soccer crew will be rolling out season preview content all week, with a live preview podcast on Thursday night streamed on all Broadway Sports channels.
To kick things off, we’re looking at players who could have a breakout season for the Coyotes in year three.
Chris Ivey: Aké Loba. He’s going to be given every chance to succeed. The forward line formation tweak we have seen in preseason will allow Loba, Hany Mukhtar, and CJ Sapong to freely interchange up top.
Lucas Panzica: It has to be Loba. If he can’t break out and significantly upgrade this team’s ability to score at a high rate (which was already at a high level last season), then at what point do we start talking about the signing as a failure?
Andy Simmons: Does Jack Maher technically count since he “broke out” last year? I see Maher as an absolute constant in Gary Smith’s side and has real potential to take the next step in his development as a highly-rated center back in MLS. Of course, playing next to Walker Zimmerman and Dave Romney doesn’t hurt for your growth.
Jonathan Slape: Aké Loba, I know its the easy name but I am a big subscriber of the David Gass theorem that DPs made a big leap from year 1 to year 2.
Davey Shepherd: Are you seeing where we’re going with this? IT MUST BE LOBA, DAMNIT!!
Ben Wright: Everyone is saying Loba (they’re not wrong), but I won’t conform. Handwalla Bwana is one that has always interested me. He looked really dynamic when he first came to Nashville, and was one of the first options off the bench to start 2021.. By July he was firmly out of the squad (it sounds like injuries really hampered him). He’s been name dropped several times in preseason, took the number seven shirt, and has a really unique skill set in this squad. I think he’ll end up as one of the first names off the bench this year, and potentially push for a starting spot if they ever shift back to a 4-4-1-1.
Who do you think will break out for Nashville this year? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.