Orlando City announced the long-rumored addition of Italian midfielder Antonio Nocerino to the team on Thursday. As part of the deal, Orlando City sent an undisclosed amount of targeted allocation money and general allocation money to D.C. United, who initially held a discovery claim on the player.
“Nocerino is an energetic and hard-working box-to-box midfielder that can provide an immediate impact within the squad,” said OCSC head coach Adrian Heath in a team statement. “He has a tremendous amount of experience playing at the highest level and his ability to play numerous roles in the midfield will be an incredible asset for us this season. We’re looking forward to working with him.”
Nocerino, 30, has been with AC Milan since 2011, and he played briefly with Orlando City captain Kaká during the 2013-2014 season. Nocerino fell out of favor with the Rossoneri in recent years and spent 2014 and the first half of 2015 on loan with West Ham, Torino, and Parma.
This season, he made two league appearances for Milan before sealing his move to America.
A former Italian international with 15 caps to his name, Nocerino spoke about the move to Florida recently with SportItalia, according to remarks translated by Football Italia.
“I’ve always said that I’d like an experience abroad, it arrived and I grabbed it,” Nocerino told SportItalia. “My needs [were focused on] feeling good and choosing a project where I would really feel an integral part -- with fact and not just words.
“I will always be grateful to Milan for what they gave me and made me become. I had many requests from abroad and didn’t turn any away. I’ve never thought about money because it’s very clear why I went to Parma to play for free and it’s a decision I would make another thousand times because they gave me so much and I worked with a top man and coach like [Roberto] Donadoni.
“In these last few months with my family I’ve looked for a solution that would be good for everyone and in the end I chose Orlando.”