Updated: Dec 11, 2019
NASHVILLE, TN - Nashville SC announced Thursday morning that the club has signed defender Forrest Lasso on loan from FC Cincinnati of MLS through the remainder of the 2019 USL season. Lasso will be available for Nashville SC's match on Saturday against Indy Eleven, pending league approval.
Lasso is a 6'6" centerback who played a key role in FC Cincinnati's 2018 USL season, anchoring a defense that allowed only 34 goals, the third-best defense in the conference and securing a spot in the USL All-League First Team. The 26 year old was the fourth player signed by Cincinnati ahead of their debut season in MLS. However, he saw limited playing time, playing just 393 minutes in five matches for a side that has conceded a league-worst 51 goals in 17 matches.
"The 2018 USL Defender of the Year will be missed in Cincinnati, but walks into a great opportunity in Nashville. Standing at 6'5", he will instantly help NSC repel crosses into the box and will make it tough for the best strikers in the USL Championship. He is a great emergency defender and offers good pace for his size. Opponents in 2018 found it difficult to best Lasso since he is able to read a match well and sticks with his marks better than most at that level. While Lasso was one of the best defenders in the USL he does have some negatives in his game that can be offset with a talented partner in the back. Lasso's long passing was able to free up the pressure at times in 2018, but teams, including NSC and NYRBII found they could pressure the NC native into making mistakes leading to turnovers and counter opportunities. His lack of opportunities with FCC in 2019 was due to many changes in playing styles including starting the preseason in a 3 CB formation. The departure of Alan Koch and the arrival Dutch GM Gerard Nijkamp spelled the end for Lasso with the new leader prioritizing ball control and playing out of the back. In the right setup, I think Lasso could be the 3rd or 4th CB on an MLS team, but with Waston ahead of him directly, new signing Maikel van der Werff sliding in next to him, Lasso fell to 5th on the depth chart after a preference for journeyman Justin Hoyte and a struggling Nick Hagglund. This seems like purely a numbers decision, but also one that will allow Lasso a fresh start. Faith, Family and Football will have a great home in Nashville."
While Nashville's defense hasn't been poor this season (they're conceding 1 goal/game, up slightly from their 0.91 goal/game average last year), they've been without Ken Tribbett for nearly two months, resulting in some shaky moments in the back. Adding Lasso will help shore up the defense and give Tribbett more time to fully recover. Lasso is the second centerback signed on loan from an MLS side, joining San Jose loanee Jimmy Ockford in Nashville. Lasso will wear the number 33 shirt for Nashville, and will be a key part of their defense as they push for a USL Cup in their final season before moving to Major League Soccer in 2020.
Transaction: Nashville SC signs Forrest Lasso on loan from FC Cincinnati.
Birthdate: May 11, 1993
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Last club: FC Cincinnati
How Acquired: Signed on loan on July 25, 2019