Orlando City made its first addition of the 2022 summer transfer window this week, adding United States Men’s National Team forward Niko Gioacchini from SM Caen in France. Here’s everything you need to know about the Lions’ newest attacker:
ON THE FIELD
- After trials with D.C. United and multiple Parisian clubs, Gioacchini caught on with SM Caen in the eponymous English Channel port city in Normandy. After a year with the Caen reserves, Gioacchini was called up to the first team just after his 19th birthday.
- Gioacchini became a fixture for Caen in Ligue 2, playing nearly 2,000 minutes in the 2020/21 season. His rapid rise got him a loan to Montpellier in the French Ligue 1, one of the top five leagues in the world, where he appeared 28 times in 2021/22 and provided three assists.
- While starring at Caen, Gioacchini hit the radar of USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter, who called him up for a pair of friendlies in November 2020. While he was eligible for Italy, France, and Jamaica in addition to the U.S., Gioacchini accepted the call-up and scored a brace in his first-ever start against Panama on November 16.
- Gioacchini was a key part of the US’s 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup squad, appearing in five of the six matches as the Americans won the tournament. Gioacchini’s big moment came in the semifinal against Qatar, when he provided the game-winning assist to Gyasi Zardes in the 86th minute. Gioacchini added a goal against Martinique in the group stage and played the last 33 minutes of the final against Mexico.
- Overall, Gioacchini has eight caps for the national team with three goals.
- Gioacchini can play anywhere across the front line, featuring as both a center forward and a winger for his clubs and his country.
OFF THE FIELD
- Gioacchini was born in Kansas City to an Italian father and a Jamaican mother. His father made a living as a traveling pasta machine salesman, taking young Niko to Parma, Italy at age 8, then to Maryland at age 12, and finally to Paris at age 15.
- As a boy, Gioacchini came to support A.C. Milan during his time in Italy, the former club of his new Orlando teammate Alexandre Pato.
- Gioacchini has a twin brother named Christiano who works in Paris as a photographer and digital content creator. Christiano has helped Nicholas develop content and graphics for his social media pages.