Nashville SC

MLSPA releases 2021 Salary Guide: A look at Nashville’s roster

Header photo by Tim Sullivan/Club and Country

At long last, we have the financials. It will not shock you to learn (since you probably already know) that I love this side of things. GM Mike Jacobs told Wes Boling and me in the second episode of our podcast that team-building is the most exciting part of sports to him, and while I’m not quite there, I love it. Love getting into the spreadsheets.

So without further ado, Nashville SC’s player compensation for the 2021 season:

DavidAccamNashville SCF$975,000.00$1,102,916.00
JalilAnibabaNashville SCD$200,000.00$200,000.00
Tah BrianAnungaNashville SCM$81,375.00$81,375.00
DominiqueBadjiNashville SCF$300,000.00$306,250.00
HandwallaBwanaNashville SCF$85,444.00$85,444.00
JhonderCadizNashville SCF$902,500.00$966,400.00
RobertCastellanosNashville SCM$63,547.00$63,547.00
AbuDanladiNashville SCF$180,000.00$237,000.00
AnibalGodoyNashville SCM$700,000.00$771,667.00
LukeHaakensonNashville SCM$66,724.00$66,724.00
NickHindsNashville SCD$63,547.00$63,547.00
AlistairJohnstonNashville SCM-D$73,079.00$73,079.00
MattLaGrassaNashville SCM$85,444.00$85,444.00
RandallLealNashville SCF-M$420,000.00$477,750.00
DanielLovitzNashville SCD$385,000.00$415,556.00
JackMaherNashville SCD$115,000.00$149,000.00
DaxMcCartyNashville SCM$725,000.00$725,000.00
BryanMeredithNashville SCGK$81,375.00$87,375.00
EricMillerNashville SCD$147,000.00$147,000.00
MiguelMina NazaritNashville SCD$700,000.00$894,375.00
HanyMukhtarNashville SCM$1,505,000.00$1,505,000.00
AlexMuylNashville SCM$240,000.00$246,563.00
DylanNealisNashville SCD$100,000.00$125,000.00
ElliotPaniccoNashville SCGK$81,375.00$81,375.00
RodrigoPineiroNashville SCM$250,000.00$347,500.00
DanielRiosNashville SCF$140,000.00$161,500.00
DaveRomneyNashville SCD$225,000.00$225,000.00
CJSapongNashville SCF$400,000.00$427,778.00
TaylorWashingtonNashville SCD-M$89,513.00$89,513.00
JoeWillisNashville SCGK$300,000.00$316,250.00
WalkerZimmermanNashville SCD$925,000.00$981,050.00

And how does this all fit into MLS roster rules? We already know that Jhonder Cádiz, Randall Leal, and Hany Mukhtar are Nashville’s Designated Players (i.e. the guys whose compensation is not subject to the salary cap).

It’s a little murky which of the compensation numbers is more relevant when looking at salary cap considerations, but the following players are also above the max budget charge of $612,500: David Accam, Aníbal Godoy, Dax McCarty, Miguel Nazarit, and Walker Zimmerman. There are two types of players there: three that Nashville uses Targeted Allocation Money to fit into the cap (Godoy, McCarty, and Zimmerman), and two who are out on loan (Accam and Nazarit).

The two who are on loan see some of their wages covered by their current teams (Hammarby IF in Sweden for Accam, and Independiente Santa Fe in Colombia for Nazarit). The amount of salary that the loaned-to teams cover is not public. However, I would imagine that it’s enough that neither of them requires to dip into TAM to pay the balance – i.e. Hammarby pays Accam at least $362,500 and Santa Fe pays Nazarit at least $75,000, so Nashville doesn’t have to buy them below the max budget charge with allocation money.

Anunga, LaGrassa, Meredith, Panicco, and Washington are right near the senior minimum compensation (and can be bought down to it with GAM if they’re not at it), and four of them are in “off-budget” roster slots 21-24 (Supplemental Roster), while one of them – it doesn’t really matter which, since they’re clerical distinctions anyway at that point – is in the Senior Roster.

Castellanos, Haakenson, Hinds, and Johnston (lmao what a steal at that price) are below it, and technically populate “off-budget” roster slots – Nos. 25 through 30, along with Bwana and Maher (Maher is off-budget by rule as a Generation Adidas player – the Three Stripes cover his salary – and has to be in slots 25-28). Bwana and Hinds are Nashville’s two homegrowns (slots 29-30), and Bwana’s salary is bought down to the reserve minimum – where it has to be as a requirement of being in one of those two roster slots – using the Homegrown Player Subsidy (basically free money if you have a guy who meets the homegrown requirements but makes just a little too much to fit into the monetary conditions).

All told, Nashville SC has 31 players on payroll. Three of them – Accam, Nazarit, and Panicco – are off-roster because they’re out on loan (and we don’t know how much of their pay Nashville is on the hook for, but it doesn’t count against the 30-man roster slots). I believe Hinds technically has to stay on-roster because he occupies an HG slot, but since Nashville is unlikely to find another player for slot 29 or 30 any time soon, it doesn’t really matter.

That leaves Nashville with two open roster slots for incoming college players (and indeed, he’s not listed here but Irakoze Donasiyano has already signed and was a bench alternate last weekend, so we’re down to one), and three more for signees out of college who can practice but not play with the team this year.

Yes this is all very confusing. If you have questions, hit me up in the comments here, or the various social media channels available at your disposal. I try to walk the line between over-explaining the same rules every time and not being clear enough what specific things mean – and it’s a target I don’t always hit!

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