Nashville SC give update on potential debut date for DP Jhonder Cadiz

Jhonder Cadiz with Dijon - Nashville SC

A few weeks after being announced as Nashville SC's third Designated Player, Jhonder Cadiz has arrived in his new city. 

The Venezuelan international joined the club from Benfica on loan with an option to buy on September 9 and touched down in Tennessee on Tuesday. He is currently undergoing mandatory quarantine before being eligible to join the squad for team training and make his MLS debut.

Head coach Gary Smith says that Cadiz won't be available for the club's game this weekend against the New England Revolution nor when the club face Minnesota United on Tuesday, but next weekend (Oct. 11) against Sporting KC could be the occasion for his debut.

“Tuesday is too early, but if I’m right in guessing, we’ll certainly have him in the group a day or two beyond that and he’ll be clear to play," Smith told media on a virtual press conference. "Any point from I think Wednesday on, we can have him in the group.”

Cadiz, 25, is a Venezuelan international who spent 2019-20 on loan with Ligue 1's Dijon, where he had two goals and two assists. Cadiz previously scored a career-high nine times during the 2018-19 league campaign with Vitoria Setubal, another Portuguese first division side. 

Smith believes Cadiz isn't far off from being able to start, though he won't know for sure until he takes part in full team training. Cadiz hasn't played a competitive match since March 7 with Dijon, as their season ended that weekend due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I can’t tell you exactly where he’s at physically, although we had feedback of how he was in Portugal, but he looks in shape," Smith said. "He’ll be in the group next week. The hope is he’s not far away from starting immediately.”

In the meantime, Smith revealed good news on injured forward Daniel Rios. Rios, who has two goals in his last two matches, was forced off injured after 59 minutes in their 1-1 draw against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday. The injury isn't as bad as feared, though his status for the weekend is yet to be determined.

"It was disappointing he limped off, but it was nowhere near as bad as anyone expected," Smith said. "While Daniel will be in a race [to play] this the weekend, he’s in a much better spot we all thought when he came off.”