Nashville SC continued its roster building Tuesday ahead of its first Major League Soccer season in 2020.
The club announced the signing of its first Designated Player in German youth international Hany Mukhtar. To complete the deal, Nashville sent $100,000 in general allocation money to the Seattle Sounders, who held Mukhtar’s MLS discovery rights after the Sounders nearly signed the midfielder in 2018, according to MLSsoccer.com’s Tom Bogert on Twitter.
Mukhtar, 24, is currently playing in Denmark and will remain with his club — Brøndby IF — through January 2020.
“Our plan for putting our roster together is about finding the 11 players who perform the best together,” Nashville SC general manager Mike Jacobs said in a statement. “Adding a creative playmaker like Hany is a huge coup. His ability to create and finish scoring chances offers our club a versatile attacking weapon who will fit naturally within the group we are putting together.”
Although he’s young, Mukhtar has had a well-traveled and successful career so far, being part of league-championship teams in Austria, Portugal, Germany and Denmark. In 2014, he helped Germany’s U-19 squad capture the European championship.
An attacking midfielder, Mukhtar typically plays centrally, but has also shown playmaking abilities from the left and right wings. He’s played with Brøndby IF since the 2016-17 season and has notched 27 goals and 34 assists across 121 appearances in all competitions. Mukhtar has helped the club qualify for Europa League play every season and was named Danish SuperLiga Player of the Year following the 2017-18 season.
“I’m really excited to be a part of Nashville SC and to help build something,” Mukhtar said in a statement. “I’m coming to MLS to win and I can’t wait to get started with my new teammates. All together we will achieve big things.”
You ready, Nashville?
— Nashville SC (@NashvilleSC) August 27, 2019
Mukhtar came up in the academy of Bundesliga side Hertha BSC, and has also played for S.L. Benfica and Red Bull Salzburg.
While Mukhtar hasn’t appeared for the senior German national team, he’s earned 48 caps for the country’s youth teams from the U-15 through U-21 levels. He also has Sudan nationality, through his father.
“As our first Designated Player, Hany is a big piece of our vision,” Nashville SC majority owner John Ingram said in a statement. “In general, (CEO Ian Ayre) 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.”
Ingram brought Mukhtar to Nashville Sunday on a private plane, according to the club’s website.
Nashville SC has now signed six players to MLS contracts. Mukhtar will join defensive midfielder Aníbal Godoy, winger David Accam, midfielder Derrick Jones, and forwards Cameron Lancaster and Daniel Ríos.
In USL Championship play this season, Nashville is in third place in the Eastern Conference table with 48 points.