Gio Miglietti’s game-winner against Houston Dynamo 2 last Sunday serves as a reminder of how far he’s come since his arrival to the Sounders organization in 2017.
“It was a good moment for him,” said Tacoma Defiance assistant and Miglietti’s former U-19 Academy coach Michael Morris. “When we signed him, it was under the impression that we keep him in that center back position and now, he might actually have worked himself into being in that striker role for us.”
The California native began his journey with the Seattle club as an Academy player, transitioned to competing at the collegiate level at the University of Washington, and is now back where he started after signing a contract with MLS NEXT Pro team side back in January.
“It was always the plan to come, be a part of the Academy, and have ties in Seattle, and then go into UW and come back to the program and be a part of the team again,” said Miglietti.
He emphasized how his time with the Huskies has prepared him to compete at the high level that makes up Tacoma Defiance and the overall league.
“It helped me because each place I've gone to, I played a different position…While I was in Academy, I was playing holding mid and center back and then at UW I was the center striker,” said Miglietti. “And so, against the Houston Dynamo, how the game played out, I was able to come in and use the skills from UW and what we were trained on at practice as well here at Tacoma to be at the right place, at the right time [to score].”
Miglietti’s significance was apparent during his time with the Huskies, tallying 19 goals and seven assists over the course of three seasons. He was also recognized twice as an All-Pac-12 honoree throughout his time with the Huskies. His most notable moment with the team was when he recorded a brace against top-ranked Stanford during his senior season (2022).
But it was his lone year in the Sounders Academy that left a lasting impression on him, making his return to the club that much more special.
“It felt like being back home, almost like being part of the family that I knew was there and that still had belief in me to be able to pursue my professional career,” said Miglietti.
It’s a full circle moment for Miglietti, being back at the organization that brought him to Washington, and with the way he is contributing to the team, the future is bright for the new signee.
“In terms of his behaviors and the way he is training, he's doing everything that he can right now to steadily improve and grow and ask questions to the staff in terms of playing time and inclusion within the group,” said Morris. “He's always early, he's always working so hard, he never complains, he'll play center back, he'll play up top…So guys like that are crucial not only to our team's development and performance, but also towards helping young players.”