Reports from Uruguay indicate that Nashville SC will be signing (actually has already signed) 22-year old winger Rodrigo Piñeiro:
En ingles, significa “Rodrigo Piñeiro has gone to Nashville of Major League Soccer. The attacker signed for three years. He’s already said goodbye to the Danubio F.C. ground.”
Piñeiro has played exclusively in his home country to date, coming up through the Miramar Misiones academy before signing with national power Peñarol (which subsequently sent him on a number of domestic loans), and moving to Danubio F.C. in January. Uruguay plays on a calendar-year season, but its Apertura (first-half) season just ended in October because of delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Danubio finished 14th of 16 teams. The Torneo Intermedio, which takes place between the two half-seasons, has been paused because of a positive test on the Danubio squad… and you’ll never guess who! (It’s worth noting that the Uruguayan Federation has had broader issues with compliance in that regard).
Piñeiro is his team’s leader in minutes, goals, and assists as things stand now. It surely doesn’t shock you to learn that detailed statistics and any type of video from a weak team in a smaller South American league are hard to come by in the United States. Here’s a highlight reel from when Peñarol initially signed him as an 18-year old:
Not a lot to go on there (though worth noting that he appears to be all-right in terms of footedness, an interesting choice given NSC’s current roster makeup). UPDATE: thanks to @SLakePreds on Twitter for a better highlight reel than I found in a quick Google:
Nashville SC General Manager Mike Jacobs recently indicated that the Boys in Gold will be announcing at least one attacking signing soon (with an implicit indication that signings would largely come from players requiring international slots by MLS Roster rules). Piñeiro would fit a number of the criteria that have been typical of Nashville signings: young, and a Spanish-speaker from the Western Hemisphere. However, other past players in that mold have also boasted European experience, which Piñeiro does not. He has not been called up to Uruguay’s Olympic qualifying squad, despite being age-eligible – and given that NSC is likely to be without Randall Leal for stretches of the 2021 regular season, that may actually end up being a positive, not a knock, on Piñeiro as a fit for Nashville.
Keep in mind that we have seen rumors (both credible and otherwise) that haven’t worked out in the past. A lot of them have had obvious and inevitable conclusions from shortly after the rumors leaked (Nashville was never going to land Ake Loba, and moved on from Winston Reid pretty quickly as well). Others – such as Déiber Caicedo, who seems likely to land in Vancouver now – have strung out a little longer. Let’s just say I don’t write a post unless I have been given indication that there’s reason to do so. And I can certainly speak to my track record to indicate I know what’s going on way, way more than others may.
More to come if and when the signing is made official.