When Nashville SC’s Sam Surridge was officially announced as the club’s third Designated Player signing on July 25th, the club’s general manager Mike Jacobs had this to say about their new singing:
“Sam is an athletic striker who is clinical around the goal. He fits our club DNA and has proven his ability to influence winning with his integral role in Nottingham Forest gaining promotion to the Premier League in 2022. We are excited about this next chapter of his career here in Nashville.”
In just 115 minutes of play for the club, Surridge has proven Jacobs correct.
In three Leagues Cup 2023 matches, his first three appearances with the club, Surridge has scored three goals and notched an assist. His most exciting goal came Against Club América in the round of 16. With Nashville down 2-1 in the ninth minute of stoppage time, Hany Mukhtar sent a last-effort cross into the box and Surridge lept between two defenders to dramatically head in the equalizer.
Nashville went on to win in penalties.
Surridge came in the clutch again, this time in the semifinals. With Nashville in a 0-0 deadlock with CF Monterrey, Surridge found himself suddenly on the counter with Mukhtar in the 66th minute. Mukhtar attacked the box and then slide a pass to his left to the charging Surridge, who put his shot past the goalkeeper on his first touch to make it 1-0 Nashville. The goal wound up being the game-winner.
Surridge’s success not only showcases the club’s short-term success of signing this one player, but it also is part of the club’s long-term plan for building a top team.
“We've always tried to identify players maybe who had not become stars prior to coming here,” Jacobs said in a recent interview with MLSSoccer.com.
He added: “Knowing that, guys like that, guys like Sam Surridge now have come to our league with a chip on their shoulder, with something to prove. Maybe they hadn't made it yet to the level of aspirations they all have, because I think that also kind of fits into what we're looking to do as a group.”
Surridge most recently played with English Premier League side Nottingham Forest. In the 2021/22 season, he joined Nottingham Forest in the second half of the season, scoring seven goals in 17 appearances and helping the club gain promotion to the EPL. Last season, while in the EPL, he appeared in 20 matches but only started once and scored one goal.
Per The Athletic, Surridge “had options to remain in England but is understood to have decided he would prefer a fresh start in a new country.”
Surridge is already making the most of his fresh start. And now with a chance to win a trophy, Nashville could have its franchise striker for the next several years.