The Tijuana Xolos officially announced the signing of Edwin Cardona this past Friday, Jan. 31, during their Liga MX match against Atlas. The signing came as a shock as the last day to register players to the Liga MX was on Jan.31.
Cardona last played with Pachuca in the Liga MX but was a free agent. The Colombian midfielder was close to signing with Boca Juniors, but the Argentine club did not complete the signing after rumors of a doping case starting circulating around Cardona.
The South American player was then set to sign for Saudi Arabian team Al-Ahli, but he failed his medical exams, which escalated the doping rumors. There was never anything official about Cardona failing a drug test, but his former teammate at Pachuca Victor Guzman recently got into trouble for a doping case.
Despite the controversy, Cardona passed his medical exams for Club Tijuana and is now officially with the team. The signing is a risky one, given all the rumors and the fact that Cardona has had behavioral issues in the past.
The Colombian’s attitude is what has always kept him from making the next step in his career, but the talent is there. Cardona started his career in his native Colombia with Atletico Nacional in 2009.
The Medellin native went on to play with Santa Fe, Junior, and also had another stint with Atletico Nacional in his native country. “Crackdona” first appeared in the Liga MX in 2015, where he played until 2017.
Cardona then played with Argentine giants Boca Juniors from 2017-2018 before joining his most recent team Pachuca in 2019. The 27-year-old has been in and out of the Colombia national team since 2014 but has played in some important competitions.
Cardona has played in three Copa America competitions for Colombia and most notably did great in the CONMEBOL qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup. The attacking midfielder scored three goals and had an assist in 15 games in the qualifiers ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
However, his behavioral issues cost him a chance at playing in the World Cup as he made racial gestures towards South Korean players in a friendly match before the global competition. The gestures cost him a five-match ban and left him off of Colombia’s roster for Russia.
The Colombian player has been great in the Liga MX as he scored 31 goals for Monterrey from 2015-2017 and most recently scored ten goals for Pachuca in all competitions in 2019. Cardona is a traditional No. 10 as he is not very fast and has great passing, shooting, and dribbling abilities.
The 27-year-old plays best right behind the striker, but has also played down the left-wing and has been great at times as a winger. The Xolos have struggled to score goals this season, with only three goals scored in four games.
The Aztec Canines are coming off a 2-1 loss to Atlas away from home, and Cardona can certainly help out the offense. It will be interesting to see where exactly manager Gustavo Quinteros plays the Colombian player as he may even send Miller Bolanos to the bench as the Ecuadorian playmaker has not had a great start to the season.