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What Scouts Say: "Very good ... One of the best players in the Big South ... Offensively brings a lot to the table ... You have to be aware of where he is ... Good vision, good technique, good touch and a powerful shot ... Attacking mid who floats around ... Very dangerous at the college level ... Doesn't have the speed to be a winger but can be a good player ... Good ideas ... Has good size and can hack it ... Size and strength are very good ... Could be a sleeper ... Technically good with good size ... Doesn't have a change of pace and may struggle when game gets tighter ... When the game slows down he can do anything with the ball ... Athtleticism and toughness can be questioned ... He doesn't want to be part of the physical confrontation ... He can work in a low-pressure, keep-the-ball style attack ... Not a guy who's going to get end-to-end and start dishing tackles ... More of a finesse guy ... He's a different type of player ... More of a pure soccer player ... Not going to be overly athletic or a super-athlete ... Can change a game through his passing ability. Has a wide range of passing with both feet. Takes set pieces with both feet ... Separates himself because he's a little quicker and puts a ball where he knows it should go ... He's going to lose a battle with a sprinter ... With the ball he's quicker than a lot of people give him credit for ... Strongest in the middle of the field ... Can float out wide to find space ... Not your typical player to get up and down. He'll think the game a little bit more ... Can create and keep possession ... Trained with Sporting KC last summer ... One of hardest workers on his team and earned captain's armband ... Has an upside ... He's also durable. He didn't miss a game despite getting beat up every game. Has tougness ... Born in Mexico and his father was a pro in Monterrey and played a lot of indoor ... Permanent US resident ... Grew up in Houston area in Spring Texas and the Woodlands ... Is he aggressive and dynamic enough for MLS? He will have to work a lot harder and dig a lot deeper and grind it out."
College: Attended Campbell University. An all-conference selection all four years of his career (2009-2012), including consecutive First Team All-Big South honors in 2011 and 2012. Enjoyed his best college season in 2012, when he started all 19 games for Campbell and led the team with eight goals and 14 assists, earning NSCAA First Team All-South Atlantic Region honors. Named to All-South Atlantic Region Second Team in 2011. Finished his college career with a total of 22 goals and 34 assists over 76 games played. First Team All-Atlantic Sun honoree in 2010 and Second Team honoree in 2009, when he was also named to the Atlantic Sun All-Freshman team.
Prep: Attended College Park High School in Spring, Texas. Totaled 52 goals and 40 assists over four years while earning three all-district selections. Registered 20 goals and 11 assists in senior season, earning him district and county MVP honors.
Club: Trained with Sporting KC of MLS in the summer of 2012. Played with the IMG Bradenton Academics of the USL Premier Development League (USL PDL) in summer 2011. Played club soccer for the Texas Rush AHFC AS Monaco U-18 Academy.
Personal: Born in Mexico City, grew up in Texas. Holds Mexican citizenship and US permanent residence. Son of Alejandro Cardenas, who played professionally for 17 years including a spell at Mexican powerhouse Pumas. Studied exercise and sport science.