CJ Sapong Training, 3.5.21

NASHVILLECJ Sapong found everything he was looking for.  

The free agent forward signed a contract with Nashville SC this offseason, and according to him, this city and this club checked all of his boxes.  

“I remember seeing the first game last season and seeing the crowd,” Sapong said after the first day of preseason, pres. by Vanderbilt Health. “Just from my talks with guys on the team, some members of the staff, there was a feeling of camaraderie that, for me at this point in my career, is what I’m looking for. I think also this squad has a really good opportunity to get some championships.” 

Both Sapong and fellow new attacker Rodrigo Piñeiro got their first taste of training with their new squad on Wednesday as preseason camp opened. The two will join an attacking group that caught fire near the end of the 2020 season, placing third in the league in total goals scored after October 14, the day Designated Player and forward Jhonder Cádiz made his debut.  

Beyond the stats and the skills, Piñeiro loved seeing the way his teammates got along on day one.  

“My first impression is that we have a beautiful group,” Piñeiro said. “You can tell they are great teammates, humble and hard-working. That’s the most important part: that they are good teammates and that they are united. When it comes to the game itself, we are going to be getting to know each other, but I think we will get along well.” 

It didn’t take long for Sapong to notice that unity as well. And after the gauntlet of 2020 that the club went through, he knows that unity was forged in the proverbial fire.  

“There was a resiliency that I saw,” Sapong said. “To be able to respond in that way towards the end of the season when you’re traveling a lot, that takes a lot physically and mentally. Seeing that gives me motivation because I’m someone that prides myself on responding in the best way possible. If I have that kind of mindset around me, I think it’s a great opportunity to maximize my potential.” 

As preseason continues, Sapong and Piñeiro will continue to get to know their teammates and get on the same page, all while getting fit for a full Major League Soccer season starting on April 17. According to Sapong, he’s looking forward to the build-up to the season.  

“You want to get fit, but ultimately I want to learn my teammates, learn their tendencies and just assimilate into the group,” Sapong. “I want to make sure by that first game that we’re vibing and ready to go.” 

Follow along with Nashville SC’s preseason coverage at NashvilleSC.com, and on the club’s social media channels.