Gatt was once a promising US national team prospect, but his career has been derailed by a series of serious knee injuries. He comes to Minnesota after spending five years with Norwegian club Molde, where he recorded 11 goals in 63 league appearances before leaving the team after the 2016 season.
Gatt made two appearances with the USMNT early in his career, making his senior international debut in a friendly at Russia in 2012 and earning a call-up to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup before withdrawing from the roster due to injury.
“Josh has been on the American soccer radar for years,” Minnesota sporting director Manny Lagos said in a statement released by the club. “He’s a young player, who left for Europe to build his career. He’s had some really good moments, and a couple of tough injuries. But I think this situation lines up perfectly, in regards to where Josh is as a player, and what we’re doing as a club.”
A native of Plymouth, Michigan, Gatt moved to Europe immediately after graduating high school, signing with Austrian club Rheindorf Altach in 2010 before moving to Molde one year later. He tallied nine goals in 41 appearances to help the club to Norwegi an titles in 2011 and 2012, but has only played seven league games since June 2013, when he suffered the first of three torn ACLs in the same knee. He returned to full health at the end of the 2016 Norwegian campaign, with all six of his appearances for Molde last season coming between Sept. 11 and Nov. 6.
“I’ve played my whole career as a pro in Europe,” said Gatt. “To come back home, it’s a nice revamp. It’s nice to be able to do what I love in a setting I’ve grown up in. Playing overseas is different in every way. Playing here, there’s a simplicity to it. Knowing what I know about the States: language, culture, geography … It’s not hard to adapt.”
His signing was first reported on Saturday by Star Tribune reporter Megan Ryan.
“The main thing is that he brings us some excellent pace in wide areas,” United head coach Adrian Heath said in the statement. “I think he’s little bit different than what we already have at the club. He’s going to be another body in there that can get wide and behind them. It gives us another alternative.”
MLS FANTASY PRICE:
Josh Gatt – Midfielder – $6.5
SIMILAR TO: John Goossens, Sebastien Le Toux,