TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
Orlando City SC have acquired Peruvian international midfielder Wilder Cartagena on loan from Al-Ittihad Kalba SC in the United Arab Emirates' top division, the club announced Tuesday.
The 27-year-old joins through the end of the 2022 MLS season with an option to extend an additional year through 2023.
“Wilder is a player that brings valuable high-level experience to the table and will add strong defensive depth for us in the midfield,” Luiz Muzzi, Orlando’s EVP of soccer operations and general manager, said in a release.
“His time at various clubs around the world and on the international stage have given him a wealth of knowledge about the game and we’re excited to have him with us now in The City Beautiful.”
Cartagena has been capped 18 times by Peru, often featuring alongside Orlando goalkeeper Pedro Gallese and highlighted by an appearance at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In the Lions' No. 6 role, he’ll complement Cesar Araujo after Sebastian Mendez was traded to LAFC in late July.
The Lima, Peru native has totaled seven goals and seven assists across 238 appearances in all competitions since beginning his professional career in January 2012.
A product of Alianza Lima in Peru, Cartagena has spent time at Vitória Setúbal FC (Portugal), Universidad San Martín (Peru), Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz (Mexico) and CD Godoy Cruz (Argentina) before completing his transfer to Al-Ittihad Kalba SC in July of 2021.
Cartagena joins several other Peruvian internationals in MLS aside from Gallese, including New York City FC center back Alexander Callens, Seattle Sounders FC striker Raul Ruidiaz and San Jose Earthquakes left back Marcos Lopez.
READ MORE: MLS Transfer Tracker presented by Avant