NASHVILLE SC OWNER JOHN INGRAM PERSONALLY WELCOMES FIRST DESIGNATED PLAYER TO NASHVILLE
NASHVILLE – Nashville SC majority owner John Ingram anxiously waited Sunday night at Nashville International Airport for his star player to arrive.
Ingram had dispatched Nashville SC Assistant General Manager Ally Mackay to New York City to pick up his first-ever Designated Player signing, German midfielder Hany Mukhtar, his agent and his advisor.
Joining him inside the hangar were Nashville SC CEO Ian Ayre and GM Mike Jacobs. As rain pelted the tarmac outside the hangar, the trio stood in anticipation of the plane turning the corner and taxiing onto to the dry concrete floor.
“I can't wait,” said Ingram. “I can't wait to meet him personally. That's why we're all sitting out here waiting for the plane to show up and give Hany a little bit of Nashville love before we let him go get a little rest at the hotel.”
The signing of Mukhtar is more than just pen to paper for a budding German attacker who comes with a high-profile pedigree. The move represents the most significant investment to date from Ingram and the ownership group into Nashville SC’s 2020 MLS roster, one that Ingram wants to see compete right away in its inaugural MLS season.
“As our first Designated Player, Hany is a big piece of our vision,” said Ingram. “In general, Ian and myself and the whole team on the technical and the executive side of Nashville SC have been very intentional in trying to build a roster that will hit the ground and be competitive. We're not coming to just participate, we're coming to compete.”
Sunday night marked the first time that Mukhtar has stepped foot on Nashville soil, or American soil for that matter. Ingram wanted to make sure he felt as comfortable as possible arriving to his future home in the Music City, sending a plane to pick him up.
“One of our core values is about being inclusive and that means the players too,” Ingram said. “I don't want to be one of those owners that is a pain to the players but I want to know them, and I'd like them to know that they're all welcome here. Hany's got a fantastically interesting background. Here's a guy whose father is Sudanese, his mother is German, he's got a German passport and he's been playing in the Danish League. That just epitomizes what soccer is. It's a global, international, eclectic sport.”
With Mukhtar now signed to a 2020 contract with Nashville SC, Ingram now awaits the next first for his first Designated Player.
“I can't wait to see him in action,” said Ingram.