Transfer Tracker

Orlando City sign USMNT forward Nicholas Gioacchini from Caen


Orlando City SC have signed US men's national team forward Nicholas Gioacchini from French club SM Caen, the Lions announced Wednesday.

Gioacchini, soon 22, joins from the Ligue 2 outfit on a two-and-a-half-year contract with a club option in 2025.

He has scored three goals in eight appearances with the USMNT and was part of their 2021 Gold Cup-winning squad.

“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 forward, who can play through the center or on the wing, spent last season on loan in Ligue 1 with Montpellier, but didn’t receive regular playing time. Of his 28 appearances, 25 were from the bench. He had three assists in just under 500 minutes.

Born in Kansas City, Gioacchini spent time in the United States during his childhood before moving to France as a teenager. He featured for the academy at Paris FC before joining Caen.

“[Orlando is] a place where I felt at home. A club with a history of being very family-like and the fans…The fans, the stadium, it’s a place where there’s a lot of energy and that’s for sure a part of the reason I decided to come,” Gioacchini said in a release. “[Playing in MLS is] one of the parts I’m most excited about. Coming home, that feeling of coming back to my home country and getting the experience to play against the rising MLS and being a part of it. That’s a great feeling.”

Gioacchini will add to a talented Orlando attack, led by Designated Players Facundo Torres, Ercan Kara and Mauricio Pereyra. Alexandre Pato has enjoyed a solid season as well. Benji Michel and Tesho Akindele supplement the group.

Orlando recently transferred winger Silvester van der Water to Eredivisie side Cambuur, while U22 Initiative signing Gaston Gonzalez is out for the season with a torn ACL after arriving from Unión Santa Fe in his native Argentina.

The Lions sit fifth in the Eastern Conference standings with 30 points after 21 matches, putting them on track for a third-straight Audi MLS Cup Playoffs trip.