NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 14, 2023) – Nashville Soccer Club announced today it has acquired forward McKinze Gaines from Charlotte FC in exchange for Nashville SC’s natural Second Round pick (#38 overall) in the 2024 MLS SuperDraft, presented by adidas, which is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Dec. 19.
“McKinze has the pace to be an absolute goal threat and is a very willing runner who looks to create and finish scoring chances,” said Nashville SC General Manager Mike Jacobs.
Gaines joins a Nashville SC attack that is led by Designated Players Hany Mukhtar and Sam Surridge. A Boys in Gold original, Mukhtar has established himself as one of the most prolific attacking players to ever feature in Major League Soccer with a combined 112 goal contributions in all competitions (67 goals, 45 assists). Meanwhile, Surridge, in just 15 appearances, nine as a starter, added his first five goals and two assists to his MLS and Leagues Cup debut season.
Gaines began his professional career in Germany in 2016 before returning to the United States five years later to play for his hometown club Austin FC during the club’s expansion season. The attacker’s first MLS goal, which came in just his second appearance, earned him a space in the city’s history books as the first Austinite to score at Q2 Stadium in a 2-0 win over LA Galaxy on Sept. 26, 2021.
Following his rookie MLS campaign, Gaines was selected by Charlotte FC in the 2021 MLS Expansion Draft where he registered a total of five goals and five assists across all competitions in 48 appearances, 23 as a starter (2,350 minutes).
In addition to his development overseas which included stints at Wolfsburg U19, Darmstadt 98, FSV Zwickau, SG Sonnenhof Großaspach and Hannover 96 between 2016-’21, Gaines has recorded 13 appearances and three goals as a youth international with the U17 and U19 United States Men’s Youth National Teams.
Transactions: Nashville SC acquires McKinze Gaines from Charlotte FC in exchange for Nashville SC’s natural Second Round pick (#38 overall) in the 2024 MLS SuperDraft.