Jhonder Cádiz graphic courtesy Nashville SC
Nashville SC got a late-season boost in the form of striker Jhonder Cádiz. Although he was only through his quarantine and back to fitness for a handful of games, he had an impact. What grade does he deserve?
Other editions: No minutes and gone • No minutes and back • Jimmy Medranda • Brayan Beckeles • Handwalla Bwana • Jack Maher • David Accam • Alan Winn • Matt LaGrassa • Eric Miller • Derrick Jones • Jhonder Cádiz • Taylor Washington • Abu Danladi • Jalil Anibaba • Dominique Badji • Daniel Ríos • Tah Brian Anunga • Alex Muyl • Hany Mukhtar • Aníbal Godoy • Alistair Johnston • Randall Leal • Dax McCarty • Dan Lovitz • Walker Zimmerman • Dave Romney • Joe Willis
10 appearances • 489 minutes
2 goals, 20 shots (1.67 xG), 7 on-target
0 assists, 1 key pass (0.08 xA)
71/113 passing passing (62.8% • 72.4% expected)
6.1% of touches on-field
+0.01 Goals added per 96 minutes versus average striker
|Jhonder Cádiz 2020|
|Dribbling G+||Fouling G+||Interrupting G+||Passing G+||Receiving G+||Shooting G+|
Given the circumstances, Cádiz’s grade has to take some pretty broad context into account. He hadn’t played or trained (in a full-team setting) since March by the time he arrived in Music City. Then he had to clear a quarantine period before he could even go through individual training with NSC staff, then he had to get integrated into the Nashville lineup.
All told, that meant slowly working his way into the final seven regular-season games with escalating playing time throughout as he worked into full fitness, and the full-time role in the three playoff games. In that limited time, he scored a couple goals, but for a hold-up style striker, had only one key pass.
The reality of Cádiz’s signing is that basically any production NSC got out of him to close 2020 was a bonus: the 2021 season and beyond are the relevant periods for Nashville’s expectations. In that regard, a game-sealing goal in a big win over FC Dallas and a game-tying goal in a comeback win on Decision Day were quite nice contributions, especially because it felt like there was more in him.
Cádiz had a couple misses (and a couple offside calls go against him) in the playoff win against Toronto FC. Disappointing though they were, being in position to be a half-yard off is… more than we saw from the position for large stretches of the year otherwise. The production was OK, the tea leaves for the future were even better.
Since we’ve already noted that Nashville’s technical staff considered his goals from 2020 as essentially extras on top of their expectations, which truly begin in 2021, the future should be bright. Barring a major collapse in his form, the intention is to exercise the mid-summer purchase option on his loan from Benfica, and Cádiz should be with the Boys in Gold for the long haul.
The standard he needs to meet is high, given that he was reasonably productive despite limited time to get fully fit, despite limited overlap with Nashville SC’s other two designated players, and despite adapting to a new country at the same time he was adapting to a new team. All three of those issues should be resolved as 2021 gets going, and he’s the odds-on favorite to hit double-digit MLS goals first for this club.