Chivas USA bolstered their midfield depth on Tuesday, acquiring 22-year-old Uruguayan Paolo Cardozo from the LA Galaxy in exchange for Brazilian defender David Júnior Lopes.
Cardozo, who was taken with the 16th overall selection in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, can play a variety of spots in the attack. The former River Plate product made two appearances for the Galaxy this season – including one start against the New England Revolution on March 31 – after making 23 appearances in all competitions last year.
“He’s a very interesting player that we saw in last year’s combine,” Chivas USA general manager Jose Domene told MLSsoccer.com in a phone interview on Tuesday. "We see him in league games and he gives us versatility in the attacking midfield position."
During his tenure with the Galaxy, Cardozo was used along the right flank, as a central attacking midfielder and a second forward at times. Now, Cardozo will join a loaded Rojiblancos midfield that already boasts 2011 MLS All-Star Nick LaBrocca as well as Ecuadorian newcomer Miller Bolaños.
Nonetheless, Domene is convinced Cardozo – who’s left-footed, which will provide a different look – will find playing time.
“He fits in the different positions,” said Domene. “For me as a GM, we’ve looked for players like Paolo to play on top of the [midfield] diamond or as an attacking midfielder if we play with five in the midfield. But he gives you a lot of versatility because he could also play wide. I see him a bit more as an attacking midfielder so we have a few more options in that position.”
Cardozo will report to Chivas USA on Wednesday and, according to Domene, it will be up to head coach Robin Fraser to decide whether or not the Uruguayan will travel for Saturday’s match against Toronto FC (4:30 pm ET; watch LIVE online).
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com