THE NUMBERS BEHIND NASHVILLE SC'S 2020 MLS ROSTER
NASHVILLE – Nashville Soccer Club’s inaugural Major League Soccer roster is coming together.
General Manager Mike Jacobs has assembled a group of players from a variety of backgrounds, levels of experience and a variety of different leagues. When combined together, Nashville SC’s roster has quite a lengthy resume.
Take a look at the numbers behind the roster that will take the pitch in 2020 starting on Saturday, Feb. 29 against Atlanta United.
23 International and Domestic Trophies
Jacobs made it a priority to find players that will bring a winning attitude to the dressing room in Nashville, and he’s found plenty of players that have lifted trophies in both domestic leagues and international competitions. Some players have even won trophies in the time since being announced as a member of Nashville’s 2020 MLS roster. Randall Leal helped guide Costa Rican side Deportivo Saprissa to a CONCACAF League title a few weeks ago, and Brayan Beckeles won the Honduran Liga Nacional Apertura with CD Olimipa shortly after being announced as a Nashville signing for 2020.
The player with the most trophies on the roster is Hany Mukhtar, who has won six trophies at both the domestic and international levels. He most recently won the Danish Cup with Brøndby IF in 2018, but he rose to fame in 2014 with the German U19 squad that he helped guide to a European U19 title.
215 Senior National Team Caps
Six different Boys in Gold have represented their countries at the highest international level during their careers, with a grand total of 215 senior national team appearances between them. Both Dan Lovitz and Dax McCarty have played on the U.S. Men’s National Team, with Lovitz making a start for the USMNT on the same night he was traded to Nashville on Nov. 19, 2019. Brayan Beckeles (Honduras), Aníbal Godoy (Panama), David Accam (Ghana) and Randall Leal (Costa Rica) round out the list of Nashville SC players that have represented their countries at the highest level.
Godoy leads the pack in terms of national team caps with 99 total appearances for Panama. He will look to eclipse the century mark in 2020.
6 World Cup Caps
A pair of Nashville SC players have had the privilege of representing their countries at the FIFA World Cup. Defender Brayan Beckeles represented Honduras at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, starting all three group stage matches with Los Catrachos. In addition, Aníbal Godoy represented Panama at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, playing in three group stage matches.
1,558 MLS Regular Season Appearances
GM Mike Jacobs placed an emphasis on finding MLS veterans to anchor his inaugural MLS roster, and he succeeded by finding players with a grand total of over 1,500 MLS regular season appearances. 14 different players on Nashville’s roster have MLS experience, while eight of them have over 100 matches of MLS experience. Dax McCarty has the most MLS experience of anyone on the roster with 361 matches played during his remarkable career that has also included three trophies.
“I think sometimes there’s not enough attention given to how hard our league is because every league is different and not many people understand the demands of MLS,” Jacobs said. “So you look at our roster, and every team is different in how they build their rosters, for us we wanted to make sure we got players who understood our league.”
51 MLS Cup Playoff Appearances
Not only do Nashville’s MLS veterans know the ins and outs of the league, but they also know how to contend for titles. 11 different Nashville SC players have combined for 51 Audi MLS Cup Playoff appearances throughout their careers. McCarty once again leads the pack with 23 playoff appearances in his career, including a run to the MLS Cup Final with FC Dallas in 2010 where he lost to current Nashville head coach Gary Smith’s Colorado Rapids.
“The second part to me is not only having guys that have been in our league, but guys who played key roles in very good teams that come into our team with very high expectations of winning and success,” Jacobs said. “Guys like Dax who have won multiple Supporters’ Shields, guys like Jalil Anibaba or Joe Willis, who have won multiple U.S. Open Cups. Winning is habitual. It’s not a sometimes thing, it’s an all-the-time thing. To have guys who come with expectations of being successful, that’s going to permeate into our entire group.”
10 Countries Represented
Nashville SC’s roster stems from all across the world and all across the United States. Five different Central and South American countries are represented (Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia), as well as two African countries (Ghana and Senegal) and two European countries (Germany and England). Within the United States, nine different states are represented.
That level of diversity is a strength for Nashville’s inaugural roster.
“At the forefront of this build was the idea of cohesion,” Jacobs said. Not just about collecting good players, but collecting players that we thought would play well together and making sure we had commonalities like language. Our team almost across the board, everyone speaks either English and/or Spanish. Commonalities like age, having players of similar ages in certain roles on the field that we think would have things in common and understand each other. And then having players that can bridge those groups of experience doing that.
433 Goals for Club and Country
Between youth national teams, senior national teams and club competition, Nashville SC’s players have combined for a over 400 total goals. David Accam and Hany Mukhtar are the scoring leaders across competitions, scoring 96 and 86 goals, respectively. Accam scored 48 of those goals in MLS since coming over from Sweden in 2015. Meanwhile, Mukhtar has been scoring at a high level since his days with the German youth national team. He has a knack for scoring clutch goals, as he netted the championship-winning goal at the 2014 European U-19 Championship.