Michael Cox stepped to the spot on a chilly day in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and calmly slotted home Nashville SC’s first-ever USL goal.
It was the crowning achievement in a Nashville tenure that came to an end Thursday when the team traded him to Saint Louis FC for an international roster spot.
A talented player who never quite seemed to mesh with Gary Smith’s squad, Cox started only one more match after providing the winner against Bethlehem Steel. In total, he played five times [starting three matches] and hadn’t been in the squad since May 6, a 10-match stretch.
Nashville gains a valuable international roster spot, which applies to all players who do not hail from the United States or Canada [with certain exceptions for players with green cards]. It now has eight for the rest of the 2018 season instead of the standard seven.
“Michael was a good ambassador for Nashville Soccer Club, and we are happy for the opportunity that he will have in St. Louis. We would like to wish him the best of luck in the future,” Nashville SC technical director and VP of soccer operations Mike Jacobs. “This transaction will allow us the flexibility to actively explore potential additions during the summer transfer window, and to continue to put Gary [Smith] and his coaching staff in the best possible position to succeed.”
Cox joined Nashville after two seasons with Orlando City B. He scored 11 goals in 2016, then followed up with a disappointing two-goal campaign in 2017. The acquisition of Brandon Allen, a player with a similar poaching approach inside the penalty area, all but sealed the demise of Cox’s playing time. Allen has scored four goals for the club in all competitions since signing with the team in May.