New England are the latest MLS team to tap into the Colombian market for new talent.
The Revolution announced on Monday that the club had signed central defender John Lozano and midfielder/forward Fernando Cárdenas from recently relegated América de Cali. Per league and club policy, further contract details will not be released.
The acquisitions are pending receipt of the player’s P-1 Visas and International Transfer Certificates, which cannot be processed until the international transfer window opens on Jan. 24. Both players will count as international players on New England’s roster.
“Both John and Fernando have experience playing in Colombia's top division, both with and against some of CONCACAF’s top club teams,” Revolution general manager Michael Burns said in a statement. “Lozano is a strong central defender who reads the game well, and Cárdenas is a creative player who we believe has the tools to help us in the attacking half of the field. We expect that both players will have significant roles on our team this season.”
Both players began their professional careers with Deportivo Pereira before making the move to Cali. América was relegated from Colombia’s top division despite finishing 12th of 18 teams in the Apertura and eighth of 18 teams in the Finalización. A playoff loss to second-division Patriotas on penalty kicks in December sealed their drop down to the second tier.
Lozano, 27, got his start with Deportivo in 2003 and stayed there for seven seasons (68 appearances, three goals) before moving to América de Cali in the summer of 2010. He made 37 appearances for los Diablos Rojos, scoring two goals.
Cárdenas, 23, took a more circuitous route to América, which he joined for the 2011 Finalización after a number of loan stints. He started his career with Deportivo Pereira in 2008, playing two seasons with Deportivo before going on loan to Once Caldas then Deportes Tolima.
The left-footed attacker, who stands 5-foot-six, landed at América in the summer of 2011, and made eight appearances (five starts) for the club. He’s made 82 appearances across all competitions during his time in Colombia, scoring six goals and adding five assists.