The São Paulo-born midfielder was named to 2022 USL League Two All-League team | Image Credit: Charlotte Independence
RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers today announced the signing of midfielder João Gomiero, pending league and federation approval.
Gomiero joins the Kickers on his first professional contract after training with the club as a practice player in the summer and fall of 2022 following the conclusion of North Carolina Fusion U-23’s USL League Two season. A captain of Fusion U-23’s squad, Gomiero got his first taste of Kickers soccer as an opponent when the two sides squared off last April at City Stadium in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Third Round.
“When we played against the Kickers, I loved how their players worked for each other,” Gomiero said. “On the Fusion team, we were a bunch of talented guys, but the Kickers were an actual, cohesive team. Playing at City Stadium also made me realize how much history the team has and how passionate the fans are.”
With Gomiero as team captain, Fusion U-23 went on to earn an 11-1-2 record to outright win the South Atlantic Division with a plus-33 goal differential before moving on to win the Southern Conference and finish as National Semi-Finalists in the 2022 USL League Two Playoffs. Gomiero led the team with 10 goals while adding an assist in 919 minutes played. He ended the season as a member of the 2022 League Two All-League Team.
“My conversations with Darren were always confidence-building,” Gomiero said. “I respect and trust him so much. He would point out qualities about me that he valued which pushed me to be myself.
"The players and coaching staff were also welcoming and incredibly accepting of me. I was shocked at how everyone wanted me to feel like a part of the team. So the fact that I was accepted for my authentic self and style of playing was an important part of my decision to train with them.
"My goal as a team is to win. I think if you set yourself up for less then you’re in the wrong business. It’s my first opportunity playing in this league, so I’m eager to learn and gain experience from the incredible coaching staff."