Once a Goat: Paolo Cardozo emerges in Costa Rica with Cartagines

Cardozo (right) returned to his old MLS haunt this summer with Cartaginés. - Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The slight-of-frame midfielder even made it back to Carson this year to play.

Midfielder Paolo Cardozo spent most of the 2012 season with Chivas USA, after arriving via trade from the LA Galaxy. His stint with the Goats was largely forgettable, and he was not retained following his lone season with the club. From there, the Uruguayan made his way to Costa Rica, where he joined C.S. Cartaginés. While his current club does not have an illustrious history, they did make the CONCACAF Champions League tournament for the first time this year, entering the 2013-14 competition.

Matched up in a group with El Salvador's Isidro Metapan and Cardozo's former team the LA Galaxy, Cartaginés finished group play in second place, behind the MLS team. The finish means Cardozo and his team will not be progressing to the CCL knockout stage next spring, as only the first place finisher advances.

Cardozo featured in all four of the group stage games, and although he forced a save on a free kick in the match in September against the Galaxy, he didn't register any goals or assists.

Meanwhile, in the domestic league Cartaginés are currently in the mix for the playoff places, sitting in the fourth and final postseason spot, with just two games remaining in the campaign.

Cardozo was recently mentioned in the news in the Costa Rican Primera, as Cartaginés issued a formal complaint to the league complaining about refereeing errors and a lack of protection towards Cardozo, who the team claimed received more than his fair share of physical abuse on the field without drawing fouls from match officials (Spanish). Those complaints stem from a controversial performance in the match against Herediano last month, where the midfielder claimed Cartaginés was "robbed" of a result (Spanish).

Despite the complaints about results for the team and treatment towards him in particular, it appears Cardozo has settled in Costa Rica rather nicely. He may never be a prolific scorer, but it appears his current league is a better fit than MLS, and if Cartaginés makes the playoffs and finishes that liguilla well, they may be right back in the next edition of the CCL.

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