NEWS: Earthquakes acquire Brazilian defender Nathan


SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the club has acquired Brazilian center back Nathan Cardoso, known simply as Nathan, from Swiss club FC Zurich and signed him to a three-year contract (2021-23) with a club option for 2024 using Targeted Allocation Money, pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and ITC.

“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. “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, 26, has competed for Switzerland’s FC Zurich since July 2019. He appeared in 63 matches for the Swiss side across the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, tallying three goals and one assist.

Nathan began his career at the youth ranks of Palmeiras in his native Brazil. After breaking into the first team, Nathan was sent out on consecutive loans to Brazilian sides Criciuma EC (2016) and Chapecoense (2017). Nathan was among the group of players loaned to Chapecoense to rebuild the squad following the team’s plane crash in November 2016 that killed 71 people associated with the club.

After returning to Palmeiras, Nathan was sent out on loan twice more, first joining Servette FC (2017-18) and later Grasshopper (2018-19), both in Switzerland. He scored three goals in 29 appearances to lead Servette FC to a championship in the nation’s second division and earn promotion to the Swiss Super League. The following year, he scored one goal in 10 appearances for Grasshopper of the top flight.

Nathan then made a permanent move to Switzerland, signing with FC Zurich in July 2019.

Internationally, Nathan competed for Brazil at the 2015 South American U-20 Championship and helped lead his team to a fourth-place finish at the 10-team competition.


Position: Defender

Height: 6-2

Weight: 171 lbs.

Born: May 13, 1995 in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Preferred Foot: Right

Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil

Previous Club: FC Zurich (Switzerland)

College: N/A

Roster Designation: International

Transaction: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) – Earthquakes acquire Brazil D Nathan from Swiss club FC Zurich and sign him to a three-year contract using Targeted Allocation Money.