Nicholas Gioacchini is on his way to MLS to try and spark his club career ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Orlando City signed Gioacchini to a two-and-a-half-year contract from Ligue 2 side Caen, the clubs announced Wednesday. The 22-year-old was previously linked with a move to the Eastern Conference club and will now move to MLS for the first time in his career.
“Niko is an exciting young player that has a great ability to break lines and has a keen eye for goal,” Luiz Muzzi, Orlando’s EVP of soccer operations and general manager, said in a release. “He’s begun to work his way into the national team pool already and we look forward to him furthering his young career with us here in Orlando.”
The 21-year-old spent his entire club career to date with Caen, scoring nine goals in 52 appearances for the Ligue 2 side. Gioacchini earned a loan spell back to France’s top-flight last season, but failed to find the back of the net in 31 appearances for Montpellier.
Gioacchini made his U.S. men’s national team debut in November 2020 and has went on to total three goals and one assist under Gregg Berhalter. He was a part of the USMNT squad that lifted the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup last summer, scoring once in a 6-1 group stage win over Martinique.
Orlando City sits in fifth place in the East.
Here is a closer look at the recent MLS News:
Nashville SC acquires USMNT defender Shaq Moore
Shaq Moore’s time with Spanish club Tenerife was filled with ups-and-downs, but now the American defender is on his way to MLS with hopes of earning a starting role long-term.
Moore joined Western Conference club Nashville SC on Monday, joining from Tenerife on a permanent deal, the clubs announced. The 25-year-old signed a three-and-a-half-year contract through 2025, which includes an option for 2026.
“Shaq has all of the positive attributes that we look for on both sides of the ball, as well as on and off the field,” Nashville general manager Mike Jacobs said in a release. “He has the ability to be a key contributor in our group, and we are so pleased to have him join us here in Nashville.”
Moore totaled 101 appearances for Tenerife over the past three seasons, nearly helping the second-division club earn promotion to La Liga in 2021-22. He debuted for fellow Spanish club CF Huracán Moncada and has also played for Real Oviedo Vetusta, Levante UD and CF Reus Deportiu.
The veteran right back has earned 15 caps to date with the U.S. men’s national team, with four of those coming in World Cup Qualifying this past cycle. Moore will be competing for a spot in Gregg Berhalter’s 26-player roster later this year as the USMNT returns to World Cup action for the first time since 2014.
Nashville SC sits in fifth place in the Western Conference.
LAFC adds Sebastian Mendez in trade with Orlando City
LAFC’s push for MLS Cup this season took another big step forward on Tuesday with the acquisition of midfielder Sebastian Mendez.
Mendez was added in a trade with Orlando City, in exchange for $300,000 in 2022 General Allocation Money (GAM), the clubs announced Tuesday. Additionally, the Lions could receive $225,000 in GAM in 2023 and $225,000 in GAM in 2024 if Mendez signs a new deal with LAFC on or before the 2023 Roster Compliance Date.
Orlando City also retains a percentage of Mendez’s future transfer fee should he be dealt. His current contract is set to expire at the conclusion of the 2022 MLS season.
The 25-year-old three-and-a-half seasons with Orlando City, logging 72 appearances for the Eastern Conference club. Mendez came up through the youth ranks at Independiente del Valle in his native Ecuador, totaling 81 appearances for the club before moving to Orlando City.
He’s earned 30 caps for Ecuador to date, featuring in two Copa America tournaments.
”We are excited to add a dynamic midfielder with extensive MLS and international experience like Sebastian,” LAFC co-president & general manager John Thorrington said in a release. “Sebastian’s physical and technical qualities will complement our midfield, and we are excited to see the value he will bring to LAFC.”
D.C. United adds Miguel Berry in trade with Crew
D.C. United’s roster rebuilding under new head coach Wayne Rooney continued Wednesday with Miguel Berry becoming the newest member of the club.
Berry was acquired in a trade with the Columbus Crew, in exchange for a total of $225,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) over the next two years. In addition, the Crew will retain a portion of any future trade fee within MLS and receive up to $100,000 in additional GAM if Berry meets certain performance-based incentives.
“Miguel has shown his talent and his ability to be a top finisher in this league over the past two seasons and we are excited to see him continue to develop under Wayne,” D.C. United GM Lucy Rushton said. “His size, athleticism and goal-scoring ability will be a great addition to the roster as we head into a critical point in the season. We welcome him to the Club and are looking forward to integrating him with the roster.”
Berry scored two goals in 16 MLS appearances for the Crew this season, mainly being used as a substitute in Caleb Porter’s squad. A former first-round draft pick in 2020, Berry netted eight goals in 18 appearances for the Crew during the 2021 MLS season.
He is a former collegiate player at the University of San Diego and also spent time on loan with USL Championship side San Diego Loyal in 2020.
D.C. United has registered the third-fewest goals scored in the Eastern Conference to date.
Union transfers Stuart Findlay to Oxford United
Stuart Findlay is heading back to Europe with hopes of earning consistent playing time elsewhere.
The Philadelphia Union transferred Findlay to EFL League One side Oxford United on Wednesday, ending the defender’s one-and-a-half-year stay in Chester. Findlay joined the Union from Scottish Premiership club Kilmarnock in 2021, but only registered 11 appearances in Jim Curtin’s squad.
With Jakob Glesnes and Jack Elliott manning the starting centerback positions, Findlay mainly ended up on the bench for the Union. The 26-year-old totaled 154 appearances in his native Scotland prior to his move to MLS, spending majority of his club career with Kilmarnock.
“Stuart has been a great addition to the club and was able to step in and fill major roles every time we needed him,” Philadelphia Union sporting director Ernst Tanner said in a statement. “Given our defense has been a strength of ours this year, this is the right step for both Stuart and for the club, and we wish him success with Oxford United FC.”
Findlay’s departure will open the door for homegrown defender Brandan Craig to jump in as the Union’s third centerback option.
- Nashville SC signed general manager Mike Jacobs to a multi-year contract extension through 2026, the Western Conference club announced Wednesday. Jacobs has been with the franchise since 2018.
- The Vancouver Whitecaps transferred homegrown midfielder Simon Colyn to Eredivisie side PSV. Colyn, 20, spent last season on loan at Jong PSV, registering five goals and three assists in 28 appearances in the Dutch Eerste Divisie.