New England Revolution

3 things to know about Giacomo Vrioni, the Revolution’s newly signed goal scorer

The 23-year-old joins New England following the best season of his young career.

Giacomo Vrioni
Giacomo Vrioni and teammate Nicolo Fagioli playing for the Juventus U-23 team in 2021. Photo by Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

The Revolution announced the signing of 23-year-old forward Giacomo Vrioni from Italian club Juventus earlier this week on a Designated Player contract that runs through the 2025 MLS season (the deal also includes an additional one-year club option).

In total, the transfer fee will reportedly cost New England around $4 million.

According to Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena, Vrioni is expected to make his debut in “probably mid-July,” contingent upon when he can secure his visa and International Transfer Certificate.

Until then, here are a few things to know about the team’s newest signing:

He will play in the “No. 9” role

Following the June departure of Adam Buksa — the Revolution’s leading scorer over the last two years — to French club RC Lens in a $10 million transfer deal, a striker-sized hole was left in the team’s lineup.


True, New England could still call upon the services of another Designated Player (and goalscorer) in Gustavo Bou, but the Argentine forward is more adept at playing in pockets of space either out wide or slightly withdrawn from the forward line.

Fellow Revolution forward Jozy Altidore, a 32-year-old U.S. national team veteran, is more of a true center forward (a role known as the “No. 9” in traditional soccer terms). Yet despite hopes that Altidore — acquired earlier in 2022 from Toronto — could overcome several injury-plagued seasons and make an impact with New England, he simply hasn’t been able to produce so far. In 15 appearances, he’s tallied just one goal.

So as a 6-foot-2 forward coming off a season in which he crossed the 20-goal threshold, Vrioni appears to possess both the size and skill required to replace Buksa at the front of the team’s attack.

Arena confirmed as much during his press conference following the announcement of the signing.

“[Vrioni] is going to play the striker position, the No. 9 position which was obviously occupied previously by Adam Buksa,” Arena explained. “I think he’s a good option in that position and gives us some strength there now.”

He arrives in New England following a breakthrough season in Austria

After coming through the youth academy at Italian club Sampdoria, Vrioni spent several seasons on loan at multiple lower league stops.


In early 2020 he drew the eyes of scouts at Juventus, one of Italy’s most prestigious clubs, eventually signing and joining the U-23 team. Vrioni made two appearances for the Juventus senior team, and nine for the U-23 squad (scoring a pair of goals).

He appeared to find his form in the 2021-2022 season, when WSG Tirol of the Austrian Bundesliga secured him on a year-long loan. In total, Vrioni finished with 21 goals in 30 games across all competitions.

“He had an outstanding goal-scoring record this year in the Austrian league,” said Arena, “and we did make note of the fact that a number of players that have come from that league in MLS have done well, so we feel it’s a good fit.”

While there’s no guarantee of success in a new country and league, Vrioni’s recent statistics indicate that he’s coming to New England following the best period of his professional career.

He has dual citizenship and plays for Albania at the international level

A native of Italy’s Marche region, Vrioni originally played for the Italian national team at the youth level. In 2018, he switched allegiances to his other nationality, Albania.

In his very first game for Albania (playing for the U-21 team), Vrioni scored against his former team, Italy, in a 3-1 defeat.


Since then, Vrioni has made six appearances for the Albanian senior national team.


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