MLS Ticker: Orlando City adds Gioacchini, Nashville SC acquires Moore, and more
Nicholas Gioacchini is on his way to MLS in an attempt to revive his club career ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Orlando City have signed Gioacchini to a two-and-a-half-year contract with Ligue 2 club Caen, the clubs announced on 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 who has a great line-breaking ability and a keen eye for goal,” Luiz Muzzi, Orlando’s executive vice president of football operations and general manager, said in a statement. “He has already started to work his way into the national team pool and we can’t wait to see him continue his young career with us here in Orlando.”
The 21-year-old has spent his entire club career so far at Caen, scoring nine goals in 52 appearances for the Ligue 2 side. failed to find the back of the net in 31 appearances for Montpellier.
Gioacchini made his debut for the United States men’s national team in November 2020 and tallied three goals and an assist under Gregg Berhalter. He was part of the USMNT team that won the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup last summer, scoring once in a 6-1 group stage win over Martinique.
Orlando City ranks fifth in the East.
Here’s a rundown of the latest MLS news:
Nashville SC acquires USMNT defender Shaq Moore
Shaq Moore’s time with Spanish club Tenerife has been filled with ups and downs, but now the American defender is on his way to MLS with hopes of earning a long-term starting role.
Moore joined Western Conference club Nashville SC on Monday, joining Tenerife on a permanent deal, the clubs announced. The 25-year-old has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract until 2025 which includes an option for 2026.
“Shaq has all of the positive attributes we look for on both sides of the ball, as well as on and off the court,” Nashville general manager Mike Jacobs said in a statement. “He has the ability to be a key contributor to our group, and we’re thrilled to have him join us here in Nashville.”
Moore has totaled 101 appearances for Tenerife over the past three seasons, nearly helping the Second Division club secure promotion to La Liga in 2021-22. He made his debut with fellow Spaniard CF Huracán Moncada and also played for Real Oviedo Vetusta, Levante UD and CF Reus Deportiu.
The veteran right-back has won 15 caps so far with the United States men’s national team, including four in World Cup qualifying in the last cycle. Moore will compete for a spot on Gregg Berhalter’s 26-man roster later this year as the USMNT returns to the World Cup for the first time since 2014.
Nashville SC ranks fifth in the Western Conference.
LAFC adds Sebastian Mendez in trade with Orlando City
LAFC’s push for the 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 by the 2023 roster compliance date.
Orlando City also keeps a percentage of Mendez’s future transfer fee should he be dealt with. His current contract is set to expire at the end of the 2022 MLS season.
The 25-year-old’s three and a half seasons with Orlando City, recording 72 appearances for the Eastern Conference club. Mendez rose through the youth ranks at Independiente del Valle in his native Ecuador, tallying 81 appearances for the club before moving to Orlando City.
He has won 30 caps for Ecuador so far, appearing in two Copa America tournaments.
“We are delighted to add a dynamic midfielder with extensive MLS and international experience like Sebastian,” LAFC co-chairman and general manager John Thorrington said in a statement. “Sebastian’s physical and technical qualities will complement our midfield, and we are excited to see the value he will bring to LAFC.”
DC United adds Miguel Berry in trade with Crew
The rebuilding of DC United’s roster under new head coach Wayne Rooney continued on Wednesday with Miguel Berry becoming the club’s newest member.
Berry was acquired on a trade with the Columbus Crew, in exchange for a total of $225,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) over the next two years. Additionally, the crew will retain a portion of all future transaction fees within MLS and receive up to $100,000 in additional GAM if Berry meets certain performance-based incentives.
“Miguel has shown his talent and ability to be one of the best finishers in this league over the past two seasons and we are delighted to see him continue to develop under Wayne,” said the DC United chief executive, Lucy Rushton. “His size, athleticism and goalscoring ability will be a great addition to the roster as we head towards a critical point in the season. We welcome him to the club and look forward to bringing him on the roster.
Berry has scored two goals in 16 MLS appearances for the Crew this season, mostly used as a substitute in Caleb Porter’s side. A former 2020 first-round pick, Berry scored eight goals in 18 appearances for the Crew during the 2021 MLS season.
He is a former college player at the University of San Diego and also spent time on loan with the USL championship team San Diego Loyal in 2020.
DC United have recorded the third fewest goals scored in the Eastern Conference to date.
Union transfer Stuart Findlay to Oxford United
Stuart Findlay is returning to Europe in hopes of earning consistent playing time elsewhere.
The Philadelphia Union moved Findlay to EFL League One side Oxford United on Wednesday, ending the defender’s year-and-a-half stay at Chester. Findlay joined the Union from Scottish Premiership club Kilmarnock in 2021 but has only recorded 11 appearances for Jim Curtin’s side.
With Jakob Glesnes and Jack Elliott in the starting centre-back positions, Findlay mainly found himself on the bench for Union. The 26-year-old had 154 appearances in his native Scotland before his move to MLS, spending most of his club career with Kilmarnock.
“Stuart has been a great addition to the club and has been able to step in and fill major roles whenever we needed him,” Philadelphia Union athletic director Ernst Tanner said in a statement. “As our defense has been one of our strengths this year, this is the right step for both Stuart and the club, and we wish him well with Oxford United FC.”
Findlay’s departure will open the door for home defender Brandan Craig to become the Union’s third centre-back.