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Nashville SC Adds Midfielder Anibal Godoy to 2020 Major League Soccer Roster

August 7, 2019 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Nashville SC News Release

NASHVILLE -- Nashville Soccer Club made another addition to its 2020 Major League Soccer roster on Tuesday by acquiring midfielder Aníbal Godoy from the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for $650,000 in General Allocation Money effective on January 1, 2020.

The Panama international has experience on the biggest stage. Godoy played for his country in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, making him the first Nashville SC player signed who has appeared in a World Cup match. It was the first-ever appearance for Panama in the World Cup, and Godoy started each of its three matches.

"I can't say enough about how pleased I am to have him in the group," said Nashville SC head coach Gary Smith. "There's so many reasons that we should all be not only as staff, technical and front office, but as fans as well, be absolutely delighted that we've got a player of this caliber coming into a brand-new group, and at such an early stage to build a team around and to add to other very bright and exciting players that we're looking at."

In all, Godoy has made nearly 100 appearances for Panama on the international stage, scoring one goal with four assists in those matches. Alongside the 2018 World Cup on his résumé, Godoy also boasts appearances in the 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017 Concacaf Gold Cups and the 2016 Copa Americá Centenario.

After being acquired by San Jose in the summer transfer window during the 2015 season, Godoy has made his case as one of the league's premier defensive midfielders. The 29-year-old has been a fixture for San Jose, making 101 appearances for the Earthquakes while contributing five goals and four assists.

Patrolling the midfield, Godoy is routinely ranked amongst the MLS' passing percentage leaders. In each of Godoy's three full completed seasons in MLS, he has ranked no lower than 6th amongst all MLS players in pass percentage. In 2017, Godoy was the league's third-most accurate passer, completing 90.5% of his passes. That season, he made two MLS Team of the Weeks while leading San Jose to the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs.

In the 2018 season with San Jose, Godoy was amongst the league's best central and defensive midfielders with at least in 20 appearances in successful dribbles per match (1st), interceptions per match (5th), accurate long balls (3rd) and drawing fouls per match (1st).

"I think in terms of the abilities that he brings, he's got absolutely everything you could want from a midfield player," said Smith. "He's a big frame and an imposing looking individual. He's also very mobile for a big guy. He's got great techniques. He looks a fabulous team player, which is why we've added him to what we hope will be a very good team unit and strong first-year franchise group. But, he's also capable of creating and scoring goals. I mean, they've not been the qualities that have made him the player he is, but he is very capable and I think as we look forward, he'll be a foundational piece of our group."

Godoy started his professional career at 16 years old with Panama's Chepo FC in 2007. In five years with Chepo, Godoy made 113 appearances. His time with Chepo alos including a brief loan stint with Godoy Cruz in Argentina's Primera División. Prior to joining San Jose, Godoy played two seasons for Budapest Honved FC in Hungary's top division from 2012-2014.

Aníbal Godoy joins Nashville SC's already announced players for its first MLS season in 2020 - winger David Accam, midfielder Derrick Jones and forwards Cameron Lancaster and Daniel Ríos.

With Nashville SC not joining MLS until the 2020 season, Godoy will continue to play with San Jose through the remainder of the 2019 MLS season. Godoy is currently recovering from an injury, although is expected back on the field before the end of the 2019 campaign.

"There are so many things that are demanding on the player," said Smith. "I think we've found an individual that is not only going to be a huge piece of the puzzle for us in the core and the spine of our team, but will also I'd like to think be somebody that the fans absolutely warm to. He plays with his heart on his sleeve. He's got that fiery personality and enthusiasm that is just infectious."

Season Ticket Memberships for Nashville SC's inaugural MLS season are available for purchase now. Memberships start at just $25 a match, and Nashville SC has no-interest payment plans available.

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