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San Jose Earthquakes sign Brazilian defender Nathan

A new player!

FC Luzern v FC Zurich - Swiss Super League Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

The San Jose Earthquakes have kicked off what many fans hope will be the first of multiple summer transfer window signings, announcing on Friday they have signed defender Nathan Cardoso, who goes by Nathan, through the 2023 season with a team option for 2024, using Targeted Allocation Money.

The 26-year-old arrives after playing in his native Brazil and in Switzerland.

“Reinforcing our defense was a priority and we are excited to add Nathan to our roster as we approach a dense schedule with more than two-thirds of the regular season still to play,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli in a team statement. “We believe Nathan’s age and skillset complements the qualities we have in our back line. We really like his athleticism and aerial game as well as the experience he accumulated both in Brazil and Switzerland. We would like to thank Nathan, his brother, Victor, and FC Zurich for their efforts to finalize his transfer to San Jose ahead of the summer window.”

Nathan came through the youth ranks at Palmeiras, making his debut with the first team in 2014. The center back was sent out on loan to Brazilian sides Criciuma and then Chapecoense, where he was tasked with helping the club to pick up the pieces after a plane crash killed nearly all of the squad just weeks before.

In 2017, he made another loan move, to Swiss side Servette, and then the following season to another Swiss side, Grasshoppers. In 2019, he moved to FC Zurich, where he played regularly the past two seasons, helping them avoid the drop last season.

Nathan will be the second Brazilian on San Jose’s books, joining midfielder Judson, and I think everyone hopes he can prove to be an upgrade and therefore a starter for the Earthquakes in short order. The MLS summer transfer window officially opens on July 7, so I believe he won’t be eligible until then and until all his paperwork is processed, so it looks like he won’t be on the field for the Quakes until July 17 at the earliest. Still, this will hopefully give him time to get his immigration papers squared away and hopefully training with the club pretty soon.

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