Without playing a competitive minute for the Boys in Gold, Colombian defender Miguel Nazarit is on his way back to his home country.
The 23-year old was signed on an international transfer from Once Caldas, the club that developed him in its academy after he moved from his hometown of Cali, Colombia. His signing was announced in December 2019, and he joined the team in February during its preseason camp. From Club release:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 22, 2021) – Nashville Soccer Club announced today it has loaned defender Miguel Nazarit to Independiente Santa Fe S.A., with Colombia’s First Division, for the 2021 season.
Nashville SC signed Nazarit from CD Once Caldas on Dec. 16, 2019. The defender is yet to make his debut in Major League Soccer.
Transaction: Miguel Nazarit is loaned to Independiente Santa Fe for the 2021 season
Nazarit, who has international experience with the Cafeteros‘ U-23 squad, was never able to break into the Nashville SC squad (see a full rundown of his season with NSC here). With Dave Romney an ironman on the backline and Walker Zimmerman close to it, Jalil Anibaba and Eric Miller got the majority of the backup reps in central defense. Among young players, Nazarit seemed to be beaten out by rookie Jack Maher, a draft pick who was working into the rotation before he suffered a season-ending injury in the regular season’s penultimate game. Nazarit, who seemed more game-ready than Maher at the beginning of the year, was perhaps harmed more than the typical player by the pause in play during the coronavirus pandemic allowing the young American to catch up and pass him.
Nazarit is on a Targeted Allocation Money deal, meaning the combination of transfer fee (amortized over the two-year term of his contract) and salary exceeded $612,500. It’s unclear whether Nashville SC can recoup TAM spent on his transfer via loan fees or roster budget relief (though typically transfer fees can be converted partially into General Allocation Money). Nazarit was also occupying an international slot. His departure opens one such slot for a player who does not hold a US Green Card (or citizenship) to join the NSC roster in the 2021 season, while Nazarit will potentially be back in 2022 if his NSC contract runs through then.
His departure is bittersweet. Nazarit is a talented young player who haven’t gotten to see suit up in Gold. However, his departure provides NSC with plenty of roster flexibility as the second edition of the squad is built, and his potential return can provide a bright homecoming down the road.