Photo courtesy Nashville SC
From Club release:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 22, 2022) – Nashville Soccer Club announced today the club has signed veteran defender Laurence Wyke to a one-year contract with club options for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.
Wyke began his professional career with Atlanta United FC after playing two seasons collegiately at Furman University. In his first professional season, Wyke made 29 starts over 26 appearances in the USL Championship, leading the team in tackles (67) and duels (305).
Wyke has a unique connection to Nashville SC as the defender made his MLS debut as a member of Atlanta United FC in Nashville’s inaugural MLS match on February 29, 2020, at Nissan Stadium. He appeared as a halftime sub.
The past two seasons, Wyke has been a mainstay for the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the USL Championship where the defender made a total of 66 appearances with six goals and eight assists. Wyke anchored a Rowdies backline that finished at the top of the table in the 2021 regular season.
Transaction: Nashville SC signs Laurence Wyke to a one-year contract with club options for the 2024 and 2025 seasonsNashville SC release
More #analysis in the coming days, but a British guy playing in USL without any indication he counts as a domestic player (in my admittedly brief research) is an odd fit. The fact that he played in college and then two years for Green Card-happy ATL UTD may mean there’s just an oversight in that quick research and he counts as a domestic. He was No. 2 among CBs in Goals Added according to ASA last season – with the caveats that apply to the usefulness of the metric when evaluating defenders going double.
The Rowdies finished third in the East in the regular season with Wyke as a nearly every-minute player. He was also accused (and then later cleared) of a racism incident during the year. Those seem to be an issue in USL – both credible and fraudulent claims – and Wyke appears to have been the victim of a false claim.