ORLANDO, Fla. (Dec. 14, 2023) – Orlando City SC has acquired Peruvian National Team midfielder Wilder Cartagena on a guaranteed contract through 2025, it was announced today. Prior to joining Orlando City on loan in 2022, Cartagena most recently played for Al-Ittihad Kalba FC of United Arab Emirates’ UAE Pro League.
"Wilder stepped up a lot for us in the last couple years, bringing a veteran experience to our midfield that added a lot of strength and set us up for success last season,” said Orlando City EVP of Soccer Operations and General Manager Luiz Muzzi. “Bringing him back to Orlando after his loan expired was a key part of our plans next for next season and beyond and we’re happy to be able to get him back here and locked in with us.”
Since joining the Lions on loan, Cartagena has made 33 starts in 41 appearances, scoring three goals and providing two assists. Two of the midfielder’s three goals served as game-winners for City in 2023, securing victory in the Club’s Leagues Cup 2023 match against Santos Laguna and over Nashville SC in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs.
A product of Alianza Lima in Peru, Cartagena has spent time at Vitória Setúbal FC (POR), Universidad San Martín (PER), Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz (MEX), CD Godoy Cruz (ARG) and Al-Ittihad Kalba SC (UAE) before arriving in the City Beautiful.
Throughout his career, the Lima, Peru native has totaled 11 goals and eight assists across 282 appearances in all competitions since beginning his professional career in January 2012. The 29-year-old midfielder has made 29 appearances to date, many of which alongside his now Orlando city teammate Pedro Gallese for the Peruvian National Team since making his debut for Peru in a FIFA World Cup Qualification match against Ecuador on Sept. 5, 2017, a 2-1 win for Los Incas. Cartagena has so far featured in World Cup qualifiers, Copa America and the 2018 World Cup for Peru.
TRANSACTION: Orlando City SC acquires midfielder Wilder Cartagena on a guaranteed contract through 2025.