United States men’s national team defensive midfielder Johnny Cardoso will join Spanish club Real Betis in a transfer from Brazilian club Internacional, according to multiple reports. ESPN was the first to report the tentative agreement.
Cardoso, 22, got his first call-up to the United States men’s national team in 2020, following his first season with Internacional’s senior squad. Since then, Cardoso has made nine appearances for the USMNT, most recently in the United States’ friendly against Ghana on Oct. 18. Cardoso started in place of the injured Tyler Adams, who captained the U.S. at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and currently plays for Premier League side AFC Bournemouth.
Cardoso has the potential to play an important role for the U.S. going forward. Although the U.S. has a young defensive stalwart in Adams, it has struggled to find a consistent backup for his position. It’s a less pressing issue when Adams is healthy, but the 24-year-old hasn’t made an appearance for the United States since the 2022 World Cup due to nagging injuries.
If Cardoso can prove himself in Spain’s top-flight division, where his USMNT teammate Luca de la Torre also plays, then the U.S. might have a reason to feel confident about its depth at the No. 6 position going into the 2024 Copa America. If not, the revolving door of players at that position will continue.
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