Nashville SC signs San Jose Earthquakes defender Jimmy Ockford to short-term loan

Courtesy San Jose Earthquakes.

Nashville SC will have more defensive help on hand in the near future. This Wednesday’s game will be the first with San Jose Earthquakes defender Jimmy Ockford available, as he joins Nashville on a short-term loan.

From club release:

NASHVILLE (July 15, 2019) – Nashville Soccer Club announced today the club has signed Major League Soccer defender Jimmy Ockford on a short-term loan from the San Jose Earthquakes. The 27-year-old centerback will be available for action when Nashville SC visits in-state rival Memphis 901 FC on Wednesday, July 17 at 7:30 p.m. CST on My30TV and ESPN+.

Originally from Yardley, Pa., Ockford joined the San Jose Earthquakes from the club’s USL Championship affiliate Reno 1868 FC in December 2017. Since then, the sturdy central defender has appeared in 15 regular season matches for the Quakes and two for Reno while on loan in 2018.

In the USL Championship in 2017, Ockford started a total of 31 regular season matches for Reno. He led Los Azules in minutes played (2,669) as they logged 10 shutouts during the regular season. Ockford was also among the league’s top-scoring defenders with four goals and was named to the 2017 USL Championship All-League Second Team.

After playing collegiately at both Mount St. Mary’s (2010-12) and Louisville (2013), Ockford was selected in the second round (No. 21 overall) of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft by Seattle Sounders FC. He spent his first season on loan with the NASL’s New York Cosmos, scoring in both his Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and league debuts. He helped New York reach the semifinals of the postseason as the club recorded the second-best goals-against average in the league. After spending the 2015 season with Seattle Sounders FC 2 in the USL Championship, he returned to the New York Cosmos on loan in 2016, with the club posting the best regular season record (20-7-5) and winning the 2016 Soccer Bowl.

Ockford had yet to see MLS action this season as the Earthquakes have turned around a few fallow years under the tutelage of new head coach Matias Almeyda. However, he had 15 appearances last year, 11 of them starts, and notched 1,085 minutes for the Quakes. The previous season, he was a stalwart for Reno 1868 (where he played with Nashville midfielder Matt LaGrassa).

At just 27 years old, this is a guy who can contribute in every game he plays for Nashville. The length of the loan was not disclosed, but given his inability to see the field so far in 2019, one must assume Nashville will have him available as long as needed, unless an injury situation has the Quakes recalling him earlier than expected.

Nashville SC next takes on Memphis 901 FC Wednesday evening in Bluff City.

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