Meet the NPSL’s leading scorer in the south – Miami Fusion’s Victor Cardoso

Cardoso with the Seattle Sounders

This Saturday Miami Fusion FC will host Inter Nashville in an NPSL playoff matchup. This season Miami Fusion FC lost or drew just once – a loss in Winter Park against Kraze United when the club, the conference and region’s leading scorer, Victor Cardoso was injured.

Victor Cardoso is an improbable leading scorer in the region. A year ago he was working hard as the Team Manager and jack-of-all trades for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Cardoso had largely given up on his playing career and was focused on the professional side of being a Front Office employee with a professional club.

Brazilian-born Cardoso played college soccer at Grand Canyon State in Arizona before transferring to Nova Southeastern University in Davie.

Cardoso was drafted out of college by the Seattle Sounders FC of MLS. Selected in the Supplemental Draft he spent about three months training with S2, the USL club owned and operated by the Sounders FC. Then Cardoso spent the remainder of the season with Real Salt Lake featuring for their USL affiliate, Real Monarchs SLC.

An injury that took 6-8 months to recover from set him back and in late 2015 he came to South Florida to finish getting his education. Cardoso’s college career had ended at Nova Southeastern University in Davie after transferring from Grand Canyon State in Arizona.

At this point thinking his playing career was over he became a front office staffer for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. As the Strikers lost staff and went through a difficult season in 2016, Cardoso took on more and more non-playing roles within the organization. It was a baptism by fire for the then 22 year-old. Experienced personnel that had helped run the Strikers for several years left organization often leaving Cardoso to pick up the pieces. He did so admirably and increased his stature as a long-term specialist in club management. 

Cardoso suiting up for Fort Lauderdale’s NPSL team

Olaf Henke, the coach of the Strikers U-23 side playing in NPSL during the 2016 season invited Cardoso to join the team. Initially as a member oif the front office staff he hesitated but was encouraged by the coaches and management. Cardoso stared in preseason scoring four times and continued with the U-23s in NPSL while fulfilling his management duties with the NASL-based first team.

When the Strikers ceased operations for 2017, Cardoso got the opportunity to resume his playing career in a more serious fashion and this year scored on average a goal a game for the Miami Fusion in the NPSL Sunshine Conference.

Finally fully recovered from his injury and training/playing full time Cardoso has impressed and has generated chatter among scouts here in Florida and throughout the country. He’s even attracting offers from pro clubs abroad and will consider them after the Fusion’s season ends.

The Fusion host Inter Nashville FC in the NPSL Playoffs on Saturday at Flamingo Park in Miami Beach. Kickoff is 7 pm ET.

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