KANSAS CITY, Kan. — It’s a full circle moment for U.S. Men’s National Team forward Nicholas Gioacchini as he returns to the Kansas City metro this summer.
“Kansas City is really home for me. I’ve lived in a bunch of places. On and off the pitch, Kansas City just is home,” Gioacchini told reporters Tuesday.
Gioacchini is playing with USMNT for the upcoming Concacaf Gold Cup, but he got his start in youth sports in Kansas City. He lived in Overland Park until he was 8 years old.
“Played with the kids just having fun. Not really thinking of playing professionally,” Gioacchini said.
But it’s not just he sports he remembers.
“I got off the plane. I recognized the airport from 12 years ago,” Gioacchini said. “Smelled the air, smells the same. I’m being serious.”
Gioacchini is excited to be back at his old stomping grounds. But his recent trip isn’t just for fun, as Team USA is vying for a spot in the Gold Cup’s next round of eight.
“We have the characteristics of never giving up, bravery, those types of things. As long as we have that as we have that as a group, that is what will make us all stronger,” Gioacchini said.
The men’s national team will face the winner of Haiti/Bermuda at 8 p.m. Sunday at Children’s Mercy Park.