Miami FC has hired former Italy international Antonio Nocerino as its new Head Coach, with the 38-year-old bringing extensive experience from his playing career to South Florida. | Photo courtesy Miami FC
Miami FC unveiled former Italy international Antonio Nocerino as the club’s new Head Coach on Tuesday morning, with the 38-year-old becoming the fifth full-time Head Coach in the club’s history.
“I am extremely excited to bring in an individual like Antonio Nocerino to lead this next phase of Miami FC’s future,” said Miami FC Owner and Founder Riccardo Silva. “Antonio’s incredible experience, knowledge and character are the perfect fit for The Miami Football Club as we pursue our mission to become a destination for players domestically and internationally. Our commitment to this city has never been stronger.”
Here are four things you should know about Miami’s newest hire.
If you’ve followed Serie A at all, the name Antonio Nocerino will be a familiar one. Over a playing career that spanned almost two decades, he made almost 250 appearances in Italy’s top flight, most notably for AC Milan, where he approached 100 appearances for the club.
He featured in some of the fiercest rivalries in the game, while also making stops at Juventus and Palermo in Italy and overseas at Premier League club West Ham United and Orlando City SC in Major League Soccer. Nocerino made 15 appearances in the UEFA Champions League and 15 appearances for Italy, while spanning almost 500 appearances in domestic club soccer. That’s an awful lot of experience to draw from as he takes his new job.
As mentioned above, Nocerino spent two seasons with Orlando City SC toward the end of his career, making 52 appearances in the league and three in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. That stint should provide insight into the lay of the land in his new environment as he takes on his first professional Head Coaching position, while Nocerino looks to put his imprint on the club.
Miami FC is hoping the hiring of another ex-Milan standout can take the club back to what was previously its most successful period in the professional ranks. At the start of the club’s history in the NASL, Alessandro Nesta was the club’s manager and in 2017 he racked up victories both in the league and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, where the side advanced to the Quarterfinals with victories against Orlando City SC and Atlanta United FC before being knocked out by then USL Championship-squad FC Cincinnati.
Miami is hoping Nocerino can deliver similar results to his former teammate in Milan. After surprisingly missing the postseason this past campaign, the South Florida club is searching for a way to break into the Championship’s Eastern Conference elite with this hire.
This is Nocerino’s first professional head coaching position – which certainly doesn’t make him an outlier in the USL Championship – but he’s already earned his UEFA Pro Coaching license and has previously built his experience in the youth ranks at both Orlando City SC and Potenza Calcio. At those stops, his experiences showed an ability to improve players and an overall squad.
As important as putting a strong product on the field immediately is going to be for Miami, Nocerino’s ability to work with talented young players is going to be the next step for the club in nurturing local talent. Six players joined Miami FC’s roster as USL Academy signings in 2023, and the club should be aiming to find a pathway for those players into professional minutes in the coming years.
“I am honored for the opportunity to write a new chapter as Head Coach of Miami FC”, said Nocerino. “I truly believe in the short-term projects we have planned here at the club but also the long-term ones, which represent a new and exciting challenge. One of my goals will be to make a lasting impact on and off the field. My approach will always be the same: determination, discipline, resourcefulness, and appreciation for every moment that football has to offer.”