Nashville SC Selects Two Players In 2022 MLS SuperDraft

Nashville SC General Manager Mike Jacobs at the 2022 MLS SuperDraft. Photo: Courtesy of the MLS

Nashville SC traded up to the No. 10 spot in the first round of Tuesday’s MLS SuperDraft on Jan. 11. The team selected defender Ahmed Longmire and goalkeeper Will Meyer in the second round.

The club originally had the 26th overall pick but traded it along with $125,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) to the Colorado Rapids for the 10th pick. The Rapids will receive an extra $50,000 in GAM if Longmire meets certain performance-based metrics.

“I think very quickly it felt like the best center back on the board that we were looking at was Longmire,” said NSC General Manager Mike Jacobs in a press conference. “For us, whether we played with three center backs or two center backs, we know that in a World Cup year that Walker [Zimmerman] would be away quite a bit. For us to be able to strengthen our depth with not only a person who was the best player on the board but one that would fit our group the best was really important.”

Longmire, a senior at UCLA, played in eight games for the Bruins in 2021, registering 607 minutes. During the 2020 season, Longmire played in 12 games and registered 1,121 minutes, the most on the team, and was named to the All-Pac 12 Second Team.

“For us, we’ve kind of joked that we’re going to keep drafting goalkeepers until we find the heir apparent for Joe [Willis] at some point,” said Jacobs in regards to the team now having three goalkeepers.

Meyer, who was selected at the 10th pick in the second round, appeared in 27 matches for Akron with eight clean sheets, including a stretch of three consecutive shutouts in 2021.

NSC passed on its 77th pick, concluding the draft for Nashville which ended in the club gaining two key defensive playmakers.

Nashville SC Signs MLS Veteran Sean Davis

Sean Davis. Photo: Courtesy of MLS

Nashville SC’s busy offseason continues as they’ve signed former New York Red Bull midfielder Sean Davis to a three-year deal with an option for 2025.

Davis comes to Nashville with 182 MLS appearances between regular season and MLS Cup Playoffs. Davis led the Red Bulls to the playoffs in seven consecutive seasons and won two Supporters’ Shields–first during his rookie season in 2015 and second in 2018 when he registered a career-high eight assists. 

“Sean is a tremendous leader who contributes so much on and off the field. He has the ability to impact games on both sides of the ball, and we are so excited to add him to our group,” says Nashville SC General Manager Mike Jacobs

The New Jersey native signed as a Red Bulls’ Homegrown Player in 2014, and later became the first of its kind to wear the captain’s armband full-time. He is also a club leader in games played (172), games started (141) and minutes played (12,616) as a Homegrown player. His regular season games played and minutes are the third and fifth all-time best in club history, respectively.  

This past season, Davis thrived on the pitch, setting career-highs in games played (34), game-winning assists (4), total passes (1,519), key passes (42) and accurate long balls (84).

Davis also led all MLS players in total distance covered (249 miles), and distance covered per game (7.1 miles) for players with at least 900 minutes played, in possessions won and recoveries with 329 in each category, and is one of just three outfield MLS players to have played every regular season minute (3,060).

Nashville SC Selects Josh Bauer In Stage 1 Of MLS Re-Entry Draft

Nashville Soccer Club has selected defender Josh Bauer in the 2021 MLS Re-Entry Draft, Stage 1.

Bauer was originally selected by Atlanta United FC in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft as the club’s first selection and 31st overall.

“Josh was an exceptional center back at the amateur level in college and gained a tremendous amount of valuable experience in USL this past season. We think he has the makings of a someone that can add depth to an outstanding corps of central defenders we currently have,” says Nashville SC General Manager Mike Jacobs.

This past season, Bauer appeared in 27 matches for Atlanta United 2 in the USL Championship. He registered over 2,000 minutes of action, 87 clearances, 69 interceptions, and 26 blocks in his first professional season with Atlanta United 2.

Bauer played soccer at the University of New Hampshire where he was twice named both the America East Defender of the Year and the ECAC Defender of the Year. He also helped lead the Wildcats to back-to-back conference titles.

Nashville SC Releases Full Schedule For 2022

Photo: Courtesy of Nashville SC/MLS

Nashville Soccer Club has released its schedule for the 2022 Major League Soccer season, its first season playing at the new Nashville Soccer Club Stadium.

The club will start the 2022 campaign with eight road weekend matches beginning with a trip to the Pacific Northwest to take on Seattle Sounders FC on Feb. 27, before wrapping up the road trip on April 23 against LA Galaxy.

“The excellent work by our construction partners that accelerated our substantial completion date, provided us with the option to play all 17 regular season games at the new stadium,” says Nashville SC CEO Ian Ayre. “This was only possible by opening the season with an extended run of consecutive road games, but we felt on reflection, that this was the best compromise for Nashville SC and its fans to be able to enjoy every one of our 2022 home games in this fantastic new facility. We are excited to fill the stadium up and make this the home we have all waited so long to move into.”

NSC will be featured in nine nationally televised matches in 2022, the most in franchise history. Of Nashville’s nine nationally televised matches, six of those contests will be broadcasted at home in the club’s state-of-the-art 30,000 seat venue. After the nationally televised home opener on ESPN, Nashville will host Atlanta United FC on FOX (May 21), San Jose Earthquakes on UniMás (June 11), Sporting Kansas City on FS1 (June 19), Minnesota United FC on FS1 (Aug. 14), and LA Galaxy on Univision (Sept. 10).

With Nashville SC’s switch to the Western Conference, they will face off against six Western Conference teams for the first time in club history, which include Seattle Sounders FC, San Jose Earthquakes, LA Galaxy, LAFC, Colorado Rapids and Vancouver Whitecaps.

Nashville SC rose to historic heights in the club’s second season in MLS after clinching the third seed in the Eastern Conference and reaching the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the second consecutive season. The Boys in Gold became the first modern expansion club to win a playoff round in each of its first two seasons of existence, while becoming only the seventh team in league history to go a full season unbeaten at home.

Next season, the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs directly follow the regular season, with three consecutive weeks of action leading up to the 2022 MLS Cup on Saturday, Nov. 5, more than two weeks prior to the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar on Nov. 21.

Tennessee Soccer Club To Join USL W & USL League Two

Tennessee Soccer Club is moving up to join the USL’s professional leagues–USL League Two and USL W, the organization’s women’s league.

The Franklin, Tennessee, based club is the largest competitive youth soccer club in the state, serving over 3,500 families in six cities across the Greater Nashville Area. TSC offers opportunities at every level with the mission of promoting a love for soccer by developing excellence on the pitch.

“We are excited to join the USL organization and field League Two and W League teams in 2022,” says Stuart Brown, executive director of Tennessee SC. “The USL has done a tremendous job of creating a proven player pathway in the game for young men and women, and we are proud to take the next step and be a part of that. Tennessee Soccer Club’s participation in the USL will be an asset to our players and our middle Tennessee community for years to come.”

Tennessee SC has produced nearly 50 collegiate athletes a year through its holistic player development model. The club has also seen success in converting talented youth players into U.S. Youth National Team products and national champions at both the U.S. Youth Soccer (USYS) and Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) levels.

Tennessee SC will compete in League Two’s Deep South Division during the 2022 season. In joining League Two, the club will establish a pathway to the men’s professional realm for players both at the elite collegiate level and top academy level.

“Today, we welcome Tennessee SC to the USL family. The mission of Tennessee SC is one we mirror here at the United Soccer League. Our hope as a League is to provide more avenues for growth within the game and by joining League Two and the W League, Tennessee SC will give its players direct access to a proven pathway to the professional game,” says USL Vice President of Youth & Pre-Professional Joel Nash.

Through its membership in the W League, Tennessee SC establishes its commitment to growing the women’s game in the Greater Nashville Area by giving players direct access to pre-professional careers in soccer. The club will also see the benefits of the USL’s fully formed women’s pathway, which offers playing, coaching and fan opportunities at all levels from youth to pro.

“We are thrilled to welcome Tennessee SC to the W League for the 2022 season,” says Betsy Haugh, USL director of Women’s Soccer. “The club’s leadership has expressed a strong desire to extend their programming into the women’s pre-professional space and we could not be more excited to bring the middle Tennessee community more access to the women’s game.”

To learn more about Tennessee SC and the USL programs, visit tennesseesoccerclub.org.

Nashville SC Acquires Teal Bunbury, Ethan Zubak On Half Day MLS Trade Window

Teal Bunbury. Photo: Courtesy of MLS

During the half day MLS Trade Window on Sunday, Dec. 12, Nashville SC made moves to acquire Ethan Zubak from Los Angeles and Teal Bunbury from New England.

When the window opened, the first move the club made was trading two international spots to Charlotte FC for $500,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM). In the deal, NSC reserves the right to swap 1st round picks with Charlotte FC in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft presented by Adidas.

With this money, Nashville made its first move to acquire Bunbury from the New England Revolution. The Revolution will receive $150,000 in GAM. New England will receive $75,000 and an additional $75,000 if Bunbury meets certain performance-based metrics.

“Teal is a proven winner who has the pedigree and DNA we look for in members of our club. Not only is he a proven goal threat that is versatile enough to play a number of roles in and around the attack, but he is also an outstanding person who aids a club and community off the field. We feel very fortunate to have him join us,” says Nashville SC General Manager Mike Jacobs.

During his tenure with New England, Bunbury ranked fourth in Revolution history with 45 goals, while registering 21 assists since joining the Revs in 2014. He ranks seventh in New England’s history in MLS games played (231) and was named the Revolution’s Humanitarian of the Year in 2020 and 2021 for his leadership in organizing community events.

Bunbury earned the Revs Golden Boot award with a team-best eight goals, including three game-winners, in 2020. In that same season, Bunbury led all MLS players with six away goals in the regular season. The striker started all four games in the MLS Cup Playoffs for New England in a berth in the Eastern Conference Final.

Ethan Zubak. Photo: Courtesy of MLS

Nashville made another move for Zubak from LA Galaxy in exchange for a 2022 First Round MLS SuperDraft pick. He spent three seasons in Los Angeles with the Galaxy dating back to 2019. Zubak made 36 regular season appearances, while setting a new career-high in games played in 2021, appearing in 18 matches.

“Ethan has the potential to be a unique attacking player with his combination of athleticism and tenacity. He is dangerous in and around the box and is a constant threat. He is a really good fit for our club,” says Jacobs.

Nashville SC made their final move in the half day Trade Window by trading an international spot to FC Dallas for $250,000 in General Allocation Money.

Since the half day window closed Sunday night, all MLS clubs will have their rosters frozen for the following three months. MLS clubs may begin making adjustments to their rosters and conduct trades with other MLS teams.

Nashville SC Announces Roster Decisions For 2022

Nashville SC has made its roster decisions for the 2022 season, which includes extending captain Dax McCarty.

Along with McCarty, the club has offered extensions to midfielders Aníbal Godoy, Brian Anunga and Randall Leal, as well as defender Dan Lovitz.

Players already under contract for the 2022 season include goalkeeper Joe Willis, defenders Jack Maher (Generation Adidas), Miguel Nazarit, Dave Romney, Walker Zimmerman and attackers Handwalla Bwana, Aké Loba, Hany Mukhtar, Rodrigo Piñeiro, Daniel Ríos and CJ Sapong.

The club decided to exercise the contract options on goalkeeper Elliot Panicco, defenders Robert Castellanos, Alistair Johnston, Eric Miller, Dylan Nealis and Taylor Washington. Midfielders Irakoze Donasiyano, Luke Haakenson and Alex Muyl had their options exercised as well.

One name that will not be on the team next season is Jhonder Cádiz, whose transfer option was declined. In 2021, Cádiz scored two goals and had two assists. Defender Jalil Anibaba and forward Abu Danladi will be out of contract at the end of the year.

Nashville declined the 2022 contract options of David Accam, Nick Hinds, Tom Judge, Matt LaGrassa, and Tor Saunders. Goalkeeper Bryan Meredith had his option declined, but Nashville remains in negotiations with him for the 2022 season.

NSC’s next roster move in 2021 could come immediately after the MLS Cup when the league opens a half-day trade window from 8 a.m. CT to noon on Dec. 12.

Nashville SC Signs eMLS Athlete Joksan Redona

Nashville SC has signed Joksan Redona, a new eMLS athlete to compete in the gaming world.

Redona is a native of El Centro, California and joins Nashville as a member of Complexity Gaming, one of America’s premier and longest standing Esports organizations.

“I’m really excited to join Nashville SC. I have heard great things about the city and the club, and I will try my best to bring some trophies to the club,” says Redona.

Nashville’s newest eMLS athlete brings a wealth of experience and accolades to Nashville. Redona is a three-time FIFA 21 Global Series North America Champion and FIFAe Club World Cup 2020 Champion. He was also the 2018 PlayStation Continental Cup Champion and Gfinity FIFA 18 US Spring Cup Champion. At the international level, Redona represents Mexico.

Redona  already has a steady and loyal following as he’s verified on both Twitter and Twitch platforms. He has a Twitter following of over 16,600 and has over 32,600 Twitch followers. He can be found on Twitter @JoksanRedona and can be found through his Twitch name JoksanRedona.