Nashville SC built up its midfield before Tuesday’s MLS Expansion Draft, so it made sense for the club to go after defenders and forwards with its five picks and the consequent trades.
Only three of the five players chosen by the expansion side remain on the roster as of Tuesday night.
Nashville also made more trades than Inter Miami and it dealt away a decent amount of allocation money in transactions that could come under criticism.
Below is a breakdown of Nashville SC’s Tuesday moves.
Expansion Draft Picks
- Abu Danladi, F, Minnesota United
- Zarek Valentin, D, Portland Timbers
- Jalil Anibaba, D, New England Revolution
- Brandon Vazquez, F, Atlanta United
- Jimmy Medranda, D/M, Sporting Kansas City
- Traded Zarek Valentin to Houston for Joe Willis
- Traded Brandon Vazquez to FC Cincinnati for $150,000 in Targeted Allocation Money
- Acquired Adrian Zendejas from Sporting Kansas City for $125,000 in TAM, $50,000 in General Allocation Money and an international roster spot.
- Acquired Daniel Lovitz from Montreal for $50,000 in TAM and $50,000 in GAM and an international roster spot.
Abu Danladi was one of the young names in the expansion draft pool that made sense for either expansion side.
The former No. 1 overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft got buried down the depth chart at Minnesota United and needed a change of scenery to ignite his career.
In his rookie season, Danladi showed signs of promise by scoring eight goals for the Loons, and Nashville is banking on him finding that form in 2020. Depending on who Nashville brings in, Danladi could be on the fringe of starting up top, but he needs a good preseason to do so.
The selection of Brandon Vazquez made sense from that perspective as well, but he did not spend long on the roster and Nashville got a decent haul from FC Cincinnati in exchange.
Solidifying the back line with Jalil Anibaba and Daniel Lovitz is a step in the right direction.
Nashville still needs to find a partner for Dave Romney at center back, but it is in better shape than it was 24 hours ago.
The questionable calls are the goalkeeper acquisitions. Zarek Valentin is a serviceable full back that could have been useful in the club’s inaugural season. Willis has been a solid starter in the last two seasons for Houston, but he only had seven shutouts in 53 games.
The addition of Zendejas did not make much sense with Willis in the fold. Sending close to $200,000 in allocation money to Sporting Kansas City seems a bit odd to acquire a goalkeeper with 90 minutes of MLS experience.
The most puzzling decisions were to send international roster spots to Montreal and Sporting Kansas City.
Losing two of the valuable roster positions in November does not seem like an ideal strategy for a club looking to avoid the struggles FC Cincinnati faced in the move up from USL a year ago.
GK: Adrian Zendejas, Joe Willis
DEF: Dave Romney, Daniel Lovitz, Jalil Anibaba, Jimmy Medranda
MID: Anibal Godoy, Derrick Jones, Dax McCarty, Randall Leal, Hany Mukhtar
FW: David Accam, Cameron Lancaster, Daniel Rios, Abu Danladi