Earlier this week Nashville Soccer Club announced their latest player acquisition and third designated player – Jhonder Cadiz. Many Nashville SC fans may be forgiven if they ask the question, who? I know I did. So let’s take a look at the new Nashville SC striker and what he might bring to the team.
Cadiz is Venezuelan, and has made two appearances for his country. The striker stands 6’3″ tall and is around 185lbs. His previous club was S.L Benfica but was loaned out to Dijon FCO who play in Ligue 1 in France. Jhonder wasn’t exactly prolific in Ligue 1, scoring only two goals in 17 appearances and assisting twice. So why have Nashville SC made the move?
Low Scoring Nashville SC
It’s not particularly complicated to see where the team has struggled this season in the MLS. In the nine games so far Nashville has only scored five goals (0.56 goals p/game). Adding a striker who offers something different in and around the box is crucial
Daniel Rios, Dominique Badji, and Abu Danladi have worked hard, but have all been profligate in front of goal. Let’s take a look at some Smarterscout data for further insight.
While the three players named above all play as a striker, they all offer something very different in the way they play.
Danladi is far the more direct of the three, gaining high marks for his contribution in the final-third for dribbling and shooting, as well as close to top marks for recovering the ball. However, Danladi’s ball retention is much less effective than that of Rios or Badji, indicating Danladi to be the player who takes more risk.
Abu Danladi’s xG: 0.1
While Danladi’s rating for link up is low, Badji’s is high, as is his receiving in the box, ball retention, and disrupting play, which suits the way Gary Smith sets up his line-up to be direct and combative.
Dominique Badji’s xG: 0.12
Daniel Rios is somewhat of a combination between all three, offering decent link up play and ball retention, as well as offering more in the air. Rios isn’t blessed with natural speed, so it makes sense that he would be a good foil for an out and out striker.
Daniel Rios’ xG: 0.12
Let’s take a look at what Jhonder Cadiz can bring to a goal shy Nashville SC.
Firstly, Cadiz’ shooting is almost as high a standard as Danladi’s at an 87, but where there’s noticeable drops in attacking stats for the other Nashville SC strikers, the Venezuelan has consistently high marks across the board, for aerial, shooting, dribbling, passes towards goal and disruption. Not only that, but his attacking output would put him only behind Abu Danladi – I believe in soccer terms you could describe Cadiz as a bit of a handful.
In looking at the activity map for Jhonder Cadiz from last season (pictured below), the vast majority of the player’s shots were from inside the box, exactly where Nashville SC have been lacking in quality this season in the MLS.
When will Jhonder Cadiz Start?
From what I understand, there’s no timeline on Jhonder Cadiz starting a game for Nashville, but going by the data alone, a Cadiz and Danladi partnership up front would be an interesting one for Gary Smith to consider. The willingness for Danladi to take risks combined with the powerful play of Cadiz in and around the box could be just the key to getting Nashville SC’s frontline scoring goals.