From Club release:
NASHVILLE (Mar. 6, 2020) – Nashville Soccer Cub announced today it has loaned 2020 Major League Soccer SuperDraft selections Jack Maher and Luke Haakenson to Charlotte Independence for the 2020 USL Championship season. Nashville SC has a right to recall Maher’s loan at any point throughout the year.
“When it comes to player development for our top young players, getting them meaningful matches is critical for them to continue to grow,” said Nashville SC General Manager Mike Jacobs. “We saw it with the players who made the jump from the USL Championship a year ago to MLS this season, and we can’t thank Mike Jeffries and the Charlotte organization enough for giving Jack and Luke that same opportunity.”
Maher was selected as Nashville SC’s first MLS SuperDraft pick in club history after being picked with the No. 2 overall pick. The 20-year old recorded 46 starts in his two seasons at Indiana including multiple awards. In his freshman season, Maher was one of three players to start all 24 matches for IU and led an Indiana defense to 15 shutouts, allowing 13 goals the best in the NCAA.
Nashville selected Haakenson from Creighton University with the No. 80 overall pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. The midfielder played four seasons for the Blue Jays, appearing in 74 matches in his collegiate career. He finished his senior season with five goals, the second most on the Creighton squad. His three game-winning goals were the most of anyone on the roster in 2019.
Nashville SC continues its inaugural season in Major League Soccer this weekend when the club takes on the Portland Timbers on Sunday evening. The contest is set to be nationally televised on ESPN and ESPN Deportes starting at 6 p.m. CT.
Tickets to Nashville SC’s inaugural MLS season are available through Season Ticket Memberships starting at just $425 ($25 per game) as well as single-match and group tickets. Be sure to secure your place in history with the best seats throughout the inaugural season by visiting NashvilleSC.com/Tickets or calling 615-750-8800.
Maher comes as a bit of a surprise to me: he’s been one of the guys training with the first and second groups in training (until yesterday, at least). Of course, it’s worth noting that NSC reserves the right to recall his loan (not Haakenson’s) at any point. At the end of the day, it’s about getting minutes, and neither players was going to do that with Nashville this season, at least not on a consistent enough basis to continue to develop at the right pace.
Nashville will likely keep both players on the full wage bill (in Maher’s case, his full salary is paid by the Generation Adidas program either way), but opens two roster spots with the loans. I wouldn’t anticipate any hurry to fill those slots at this point.
Jack Maher photo by Tim Sullivan/For Club and Country