American Exports: US youth Bernardo signs in Guatemala

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Napoli youth product Vincenzo Bernardo has signed a one-year deal with Guatemalan second-division outfit Deportivo Guastatoya, MLSsoccer.com has learned.

The former US Under-20 international, now 22, had been a free agent after leaving the USL Pro's Harrisburg City Islanders late last year. 

“It's definitely a good feeling to be on a team and finally be back in training,” Bernardo told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Tuesday. “I'm really looking forward to starting, taking every chance I get and making the best of it.”

The forward from Morristown, N.J., graduated from Napoli's youth system in 2009 before a stint at Austrian team FC Höchst. He then moved back over the Atlantic to join the USL, and the fluent Italian speaker is already learning Spanish and is confident that Guastatoya is the right place for him to rebuild his career.

“I was looking for the right situation for me as a player,” he explained. “I think Central American countries and South American countries favor my style of play and I'm always interested in new opportunities.”

Bernardo's debut south of the border may have to wait a week or two with his international transfer certificate yet to come through and the former New York Red Bulls youth product still working to get match-fit. 

Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at tom.marshall.mex@gmail.com.