2018 USL Championship Defender of the Year Forrest Lasso has joined Nashville SC on loan from FC Cincinnati for the remainder of the 2019 season. | Photo courtesy Brett Hansbauer / FC Cincinnati
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nashville Soccer Club announced on Thursday it had acquired 2018 USL Championship Defender of the Year Forrest Lasso on loan from FC Cincinnati of Major League Soccer for the remainder of the 2019 season, pending league approval.
Lasso has spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons with FC Cincinnati, making the jump from the Championship to MLS with the club. In 2018, he started 29 matches and was the rock of the defense behind Cincinnati's regular season league championship en route to being named the Championship’s Defender of the Year and earning his second selection to the Championship’s All-League First Team. At the MLS level this season, Lasso has made five appearances, including four starts. His first MLS start came in a 2-0 FCC win against the New England Revolution.
“I think he’s as good, if not the best center back that I saw last year in this league,” Nashville Head Coach Gary Smith said. “Very dominant as an individual. He brings tremendous presence to any group, and I thought he led that back line for Cincinnati extremely well last year. My hope is that he can offer us the same sort of guidance and physical stature. I think he’s been very unfortunate not to get more opportunities in that Cincinnati side. But, given the circumstances there, it’s opened the door for us.”
Prior to his stint in Cincinnati, Lasso began his professional career with the Charleston Battery. From 2015-17, he made 62 appearances, including 45 starts, and scored 10 goals across all competitions. Six of those goals came in 2017 in a campaign that earned him Championship All-League First Team honors. He played college soccer at Wofford before turning pro in 2015.
He squared off against Nashville SC four times last season with FC Cincinnati, including in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2018 USL Cup Playoffs. In all four matches, Lasso played every minute allowing Smith and the technical staff to get a good look at Lasso throughout the campaign.
“It’s easy to see the physical stature of the guy,” Smith said of the 6-foot-6 defender. “That in itself offers a terrific presence in that back line. I think he was a lynchpin of a very good defensive unit. There were other good defenders in there as well, of course. But I think what he offers aerially at both ends of the field is a threat in a goal scoring sense, and he’s also a great asset defensively. But I think it’s more than that. I think he controls a defensive group far better than maybe he’s given credit for. And of course, he’s one of those guys that leads by example. A really good addition and some tremendous competition in our back line now, which I think is very important.”
Lasso is expected to be available for selection for this Saturday’s match at Nissan Stadium against Indy Eleven kicking off at 7 p.m. CT.