Bethlehem Steel FC announced the transfer of Brandon Allen to Nashville for an undisclosed fee this morning.
After a strong start to the 2018 campaign against Richmond that saw him net two goals, Allen fell out of favor with the side and now will try and find footing with psuedo-MLS side Nashville SC.
Simply put, Allen just isn’t the right fit for what Bethlehem (or Red Bull for that matter) needed from their target men. Clinical finishing is great — I really don’t think there’s many guys better with their back to defenders — but the defensive work rate just isn’t there. High pressing and possession are two things Allen’s previous employers covet, and while I think Gary Smith and Nashville SC don’t disregard possession, Nashville have been much more prone to shootouts this year. That coupled with the surge of positive results with Aidan Apodaca at the helm and it looks like the organization decided to pass up on the known quantity for someone with a bit more pace and higher work ethic.
So that brings up a great question, why on earth would you ship this guy to an Eastern Conference rival?
Two reasons stick out. One, Nashville is joining MLS at some point but the plan it seems is 2020. They probably have deep pockets and a straight up player for cash swap is rare, but normally involves a good chunk of change. Allen also now gets his chance to finally be “the guy” again which wasn’t the case in Bethlehem.
Second, Nashville need straight up firepower. I think Lebo Moloto and Ropapah Mensah are a really fun combination and give it some more time and they’ll be deadly in their own right but Allen can be Nashville’s harbinger of death (goals) now, and that’s vital for them. Finally, if you’re looking for MLS depth down the line, there’s not too many better guys to bring in now to have for the future.