NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 10, 2021) – Nashville Soccer Club announced today that the club has acquired 10-year Major League Soccer veteran CJ Sapong via free agency. Sapong is set to join Nashville on a two-year deal with an option for a third year as the club continues to bolster its rosters ahead of its second MLS season.
“CJ is a proven goal scorer who plays with the energy and enthusiasm needed in successful teams,” said Nashville SC General Manager Mike Jacobs. “His athleticism and tenacity, coupled with his versatility to play multiple roles across the front line, makes him a handful to play against. He also adds to an attacking corps that really caught fire towards the end of our first season when we had our full complement of players. His addition only enhances that group.”
With 276 MLS appearances, 71 goals and 25 assists, the veteran striker joins a nucleus of attacking options for Nashville SC that includes recently announced winger Rodrigo Piñeiro, and an onslaught of dynamic playmakers featuring Jhonder Cádiz, Randall Leal, Hany Mukhtar, and Daniel Ríos.
Sapong spent the last two years as a member of Chicago Fire FC. In his first full season with Chicago in 2019, the striker scored a team leading 13 goals in 32 appearances and was tied for the team lead in game-winning goals, and goals scored at home while leading the club in goals scored on the road.
Prior to joining the Fire, Sapong spent four seasons with the Philadelphia Union. In 2017, Sapong registered a career-high 16 goals in the regular season, which remains the most goals scored in a regular season campaign by any player in Union history, and led the team to two separate Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final appearances.
The veteran began his MLS career after originally being selected by Sporting Kansas City as the 10th overall selection in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. Sapong made 34 appearances during his rookie season, scoring five goals and adding five assists as he was named the 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year. In four seasons with Sporting KC, Sapong brought home the 2013 MLS Cup and the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
At the international level, Sapong has earned four caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team. After receiving an invitation to the team’s January camp in 2012, Sapong made his debut for the USMNT in a friendly against Venezuela on Jan. 21. He earned his second cap just four days later with a substitute appearance against Panama. In 2017, Sapong received the nod to represent the USMNT ahead of a friendly in Portugal on Nov. 14. He started that match, and recorded an assist in the 1-1 draw.
Transaction: Nashville Soccer Cub acquires CJ Sapong via free agency
Birthdate: Dec. 27, 1988
Hometown: Manassas, Virginia
Nationality: United States
Last club: Chicago Fire FC
How Acquired: Acquired via free agency