Hey! It’s your semi-regular roundup of the links of interest to Nashville SC and US Soccer. This was supposed to go up several hours ago but Big Pharma (not Big Pharma Soccer, to the best of my knowledge) hates me.
At least I will not give anyone the flu. And you will follow and/or encourage friends to follow the site on Twitter if you don’t support The Flu.
MLS Offseason, but basically preseason by now. MLSSoccer.com’s Matt Doyle on each team’s needs. His advice for Nashville SC is of particular note to us (the format here is a note from a month or so ago, then an update):
They have the No. 1 allocation order slot. Fabian Castillo is entering the final six months of his contract with Queretaro, who are a selling club, and who will want to keep their core group together. Castillo is not a part of their core group.
This one’s easy.
[Fabian] Castillo’s a sure thing. If you’re an expansion club without a huge budget and you have the opportunity to grab a sure thing, you do it.
Jan. 1 update: The above is still where I’m at. If you can get a 10g/8a winger who’s in his prime and knows the league, you should do it.
Fabian Castillo is obviously a very good bet, but all indications are that another Liga MX player has NSC’s eye. Querétaro loanee Ake Loba is an Ivorian striker with interest from Cruz Azul… and Nashville SC. He’s on loan from his Peruvian club, so maybe Tigres can’t sell? Probably bound for Cruz Azul, with NSC looking like a bargaining chip for the player and his agent (though bargaining chips don’t mean much inluess they’re real possibilities, so…)
Also on MLS Soccer dot com. Greg Seltzer on breakout stars does not include anyone from Nashville. HOWEVA:
I’m as high as anyone on the promise of Derrick Jones as a mobile destroyer who can also attack, but Nashville SC have a pair of pricey veterans around to eat up defensive/holding midfield minutes. He’s good enough to make my top 10, but might not get as much of a chance to show it.
The talent is there, the opportunity potentially not, thanks to a reasonably deep central midfield for the Boys in Gold. Dax McCarty has incredible durability – hey, about Dax, his recent Extra Time interview is not Nashville-specific, but gives you a really good feel for him as a guy – but a lot of NSC signees have question marks about their own durability. It may not be Option One, but I bet Jones gets decent time.
#STADIUM_STUFF. A tradition unlike any other. An annoying tradition unlike any other.
The framing of this article is extremely weird (and speaks to something I’ve harped on a lot: that the anti-stadium lobby always tends to be able to push its agenda or version of facts to media outlets waaay better than Nashville SC’s multi-billion-dollar corporate backing – even when the truth of the events is favorable to the soccer team), but it does touch on an important point:
It’s now been more than a year since Nashville’s pro soccer franchise agreed to a long list of so-called “community benefits” related to its stadium plan and a 10-acre development next door.
The team said it would provide a minimum wage of $15.50, affordable housing, employee childcare on site, and youth soccer programming, among other terms.
Yet it has taken until this week to form the 6-person community advisory committee that will track how the team is upholding its promises.
The facts are overwhelmingly positive! And the anti-stadium lobby is the sole responsible party for Nashville SC’s inability to follow through on some of those promises! Yet it’s presented… that way. (As a member of the journalistic community, that reflects just as poorly – if not more so – on the outlet. Alas.) FWIW BizJournals covered the news in a more even-handed way($).
For its part, WPLN is trying to at least do a disingenuous “both sides” routine (journalistic standards being in the state they are in 2020), and brought on The Tennessean‘s friend-of-the-blog Drake Hills for a little talk about soccer.
Top Drawer Soccer on the top MLS SuperDraft picks. Here’s their 1-50 list, and a couple highlights from me:
|1||CB Jack Maher*||Indiana|
|2||CF Robbie Robinson*||Clemson|
|3||CF Cal Jennings||UCF|
|4||RB Dylan Nealis||Georgetown|
|6||W Ryan Raposo*||Syracuse|
|7||CB Henry Kessler*||Virginia|
|8||LB Tanner Beason||Stanford|
|18||RW Jack Hallahan||Michigan|
|21||CM/CB Tanner Dietrich||Clemson|
|22||RB Simon Waever||Indiana|
That’s the four GA signees, both senior pre-signings, plus Cal Jennings (who is pretty unanimously a top-five pick, though I’m not sure he fits with NSC’s needs), along with a couple guys with interesting connections – Dietrich is a Nashville native and former NSC PDL player, while Waever transferred to IU from University of Evansville, where Nashville GM Mike Jacobs coached before moving into the professional ranks – and a member of our beloved Michigan Wolverines because it’s my blog and I can do what I want.
TDS‘s mock draft has Maher falling to NSC even if Daryl Dike doesn’t come out to be Miami’s Nol 1 pick, for what it’s worth.
USMNT call-ups. Our also-beloved Americans will play Costa Rica – and potentially Randall Leal, though it wouldn’t surprise me if Nashville asks the Ticos not to bring him up – Feb. 1 in California. Nashville SC left back Daniel Lovitz, who has mad most USMNT camps in the Gregg Berhalter era, was not on the list, unfortunately.
Daniel Lovitz photo courtesy Nashville SC.