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Nashville signs leading USL scorer Cameron Lancaster to MLS deal

Jun 5, 2018; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville City FC forward Cameron Lancaster (9) dribbles the ball against the New England Revolution during the first half at Lynn Stadium. Louisville City defeated New England 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Soccer won’t be played in Nashville until at least 2020, but the expansion side is beginning to add players to its roster.

Nashville’s MLS team announced Thursday it signed Cameron Lancaster to a contract. The terms of the deal were not revealed, but it is an MLS contract. Lancaster will be loaned to the city’s USL Championship side, Nashville SC, for the 2019 season.

Lancaster, 26, has plenty of experience putting up points in USL. Playing with Louisville City FC in 2018, he won the league’s Golden Boot, scoring a record-breaking 25 goals in 30 games. He was the runner-up for the USL MVP award and was named player of the month three times.

“Cameron set new standards as a goal scorer in the USL this past season and compares quite favorably to other strikers that have transitioned from USL to MLS,” Nashville MLS general manager Mike Jacobs said in a statement. “His instincts around the goal, coupled with his unique ability to finish during the run of play and on set pieces, makes him someone the opposition has to constantly be worried about.”

A native of England, Lancaster came up in Tottenham Hotspur’s youth academy and even appeared in a game with the English Premier League Side in 2012. While battling injuries, he appeared in matches with three other English clubs, but then came to the United States and USL, signing with Louisville in 2015.

In 93 appearances with Louisville over four seasons, Lancaster tallied 42 goals and helped the club win a pair of USL Cups. In 2018, he was also named to the All-USL First Team.

“Cameron’s pedigree in English soccer and goal scoring ability here in the U.S. make him an ideal target at this stage of building our club,” Nashville MLS CEO Ian Ayre said. “We are thrilled he will be joining us on our path to Major League Soccer, and we look forward to welcoming him to Nashville.”

Lancaster joins Daniel Rios as Nashville’s first MLS signings. Rios, a 23-year-old forward, will also be loaned to Nashville SC this season. Nashville SC will open 2019 at home on March 9 against Loudon United.

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