ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 24, 2020) - The Orlando City Development Academy has added former Orlando City midfielder Antonio Nocerino to its coaching staff, the Club announced today. Nocerino, 34, announced his retirement from his decorated playing career on Thursday.
“We are very happy and proud that Antonio has chosen Orlando City to start his coaching career. Hopefully, we can help him to grow in the profession but, also, he will be great for our players because he will be able to transmit all of his knowledge as a player to help them develop,” Orlando City Development Academy Director Marcelo Neveleff said. “But, even though Antonio had a decorated playing career, we are also looking forward to helping him grow and learn as a coach so he can best help shape the next generation of players.”
“I am a proud Italian but Orlando is my home. I am thankful for the opportunities Orlando City has given me, both as a player and now as a coach,” Nocerino said. “My idea is to grow step-by-step. I made the decision to become a coach, obtained by UEFA B license and am now working on my UEFA A. I want to work with the Orlando City Academy, get as much experience as I can with the objective in mind to grow, get more coaching licenses and one day be ready for the challenge of being a professional head coach. I am very excited for this new opportunity.”
Nocerino will join the Development Academy as the head coach for the Orlando City U-15 side, while serving as an assistant coach for the U-17s. With the addition, the Lions continue their commitment to keeping the talent of the First Team within the organization for the long-term.
A native of Naples, Italy, Nocerino joined the Lions ahead of the 2016 Major League Soccer season, where he would go on to register 52 appearances in two seasons with the Club, scoring one goal in that time. After his time in Orlando, Nocerino finished his playing career with Benevento, where he spent the 2018 season.
Throughout his storied career, Nocerino spent time at Serie A powerhouses Juventus, Palermo and AC Milan. A product of the Juventus youth academy, he would go on to record over 400 professional appearances, making his professional debut for Avellino of Serie B while on loan in 2003.
After spending his first four seasons with Juventus on loan, he made his debut for the iconic Italian club in 2007, recording 32 league appearances and four in the Coppa Italia. Following the 2007 season, he moved to Palermo where he earned 122 caps in three years with the Le Aquile across all competitions, scoring six goals.
On the last day of the Italian transfer window in 2011, Nocerino was acquired by AC Milan. On September 9, he debuted for The Red and Black in Serie A play before making his UEFA Champions League debut four days later in a 2-2 draw against FC Barcelona. Nocerino would go on to spend five years with the 18-time Serie A champions before being acquired by Orlando City in 2016, with three separate loan stints in that span. In total he registered 74 Serie A appearances for Milan, netting 12 goals in his time there.
On the international stage, Nocerino finished his playing career with 19 appearances for the Italian National Team. In 2008, he captained Italy at the Beijing Olympic Games, playing every minute of their four matches throughout the tournament. Four years later, he represented his home country at the 2012 European Championships in their run to the finals of the UEFA Euro that year. Before making his senior debut in 2007, Nocerino competed for the Italians at the U-19, U-20 and U-21 levels, a member of Italy’s U-20 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship roster and their U-21 2007 UEFA European Football Championship side.