Nicholas Gioacchini selected by St. Louis in MLS Expansion Draft

Christopher Adams
Sep 10, 2022; Chester, Pennsylvania, USA; Orlando City forward Nicholas Gioacchini (20) controls the
Sep 10, 2022; Chester, Pennsylvania, USA; Orlando City forward Nicholas Gioacchini (20) controls the / Mitchell Leff-USA TODAY Sports
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A new Major League Soccer season means another new expansion team, which means another expansion draft. Orlando City weren't spared this time around, as new side St. Louis CITY SC selected winger Nicholas Gioacchini with the first overall selection.

Gioacchini, born in Missouri, was a natural choice for St. Louis and will provide a promising prospect who could see heavy playing time in that club's expansion season. For Orlando City, it's a disappointing, but inevitable blow.

Expansion drafts are a numbers game, and Gioacchini, despite his promise, wasn't valuable enough to merit protection. While the Lions would've loved a full season to get the fringe US international into the team, the logistics of MLS meant it wasn't to be.

Orlando fans will hope they don't miss out on a potential future star like they did last time an Orlando City player was taken in an expansion draft.

Kamal Miller spent the beginning of his pro career languishing on the bench for the Lions, but after being selected by Austin FC in the expansion draft and flipped to CF Montreal, has blossomed into a premier MLS defender.

The former Syracuse Orangeman was an MLS All-Star this past season and will represent Canada at the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

Like with Gioacchini, it was an unfortunate numbers game that saw the Canadian leave, and Orlando's system didn't fit Miller nearly as well as Montreal's has. But despite any logistical concerns or hangups, it's frustrating for fans to see a player leave for free and blossom into a genuine star elsewhere.

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