The international slot acquisition has not been explained (MacNaughton is American), but the Boys in Gold did indeed make a deadline day trade to shore up the centerback position. Toronto FC’s Lukas MacNaughton is now a Boy in Gold, and CJ Sapong is no longer:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 25, 2023) – Nashville Soccer Club announced today it has acquired Canadian international Lukas MacNaughton in a trade with Toronto FC that sent forward CJ Sapong to the Canadian club in exchange for the centerback, $125,000 in 2024 General Allocation Money (GAM) and $75,000 in conditional 2025 GAM, if Sapong meets certain performance metrics. MacNaughton will be available for selection upon receipt of his International Transfer Certificate.
The defender joined Toronto FC in the 2022 preseason from the Canadian Premier League (CPL) club Pacific FC. Since then, he has started in 22 of 28 Major League Soccer regular season matches with Toronto. Just three weeks ago, MacNaughton subbed in at halftime to preserve a scoreless draw for the Reds against Nashville SC at GEODIS Park.
Prior to joining Toronto FC, MacNaughton made 29 appearances for Pacific FC with whom he won the CPL Championship in 2021. In three seasons there, the centerback made 59 combined appearances between CPL and Canadian Championship competition, registering five goals and one assist.
During the summers of 2016 and 2017, MacNaughton played for the North Toronto Nitros in League1 Ontario, before moving to Alliance United FC in 2018. While in that league, the defender registered a total of 17 appearances, before signing with Pacific FC in 2019.
MacNaughton originally moved to Canada in 2013 to attend the University of Toronto, where he played for the Toronto Varsity Blues through 2017, earning the Ontario University Athletics East First-Team All-Star honors every season.
Born to international parents in New York, NY, MacNaughton, who holds three different passports (Canada, United States, and Belgium), earned his first international call to Canada Men’s National Team in November of 2022 coming in as a sub in a friendly against Bahrain ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.
CJ Sapong joined Nashville SC in 2021 in a trade with Chicago Fire FC. In two and a half seasons as a Boy in Gold, the 34-year-old forward registered 17 goals and 10 assists in 74 matches.Nashville SC release
More analysis to come.