Josh Wynder will become the latest U.S. men’s national team prospect to make his move to Europe this summer.
Wynder has joined Portuguese club Benfica on a permanent deal from USL Championship side Louisville City FC, the clubs announced. The deal marks the first-ever seven-figure transfer fee ($1.2 million reported transfer fee) for a USL player in league history.
Wynder can officially register as a Benfica player this July once the summer transfer window opens.
“I’m very grateful to Louisville City for everything the club has done for me,” Wynder said. “It’s a dream come true to sign with Benfica, and I can’t wait to get started there. Although my career’s taking me overseas, I’ll always be proud of where I’m from and represent Louisville to the best of my ability.”
Wynder has totaled 45 combined appearances for Louisville City FC, scoring two goals and also featuring in the U.S. Open Cup. He was a finalist for U.S. Soccer’s 2022 Young Male Player of the Year award and also earned his first senior U.S. men’s national team call up in March.
He started four matches for Mikey Varas’ USMNT U-20 side at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina.
“This is a proud moment for Louisville City, our youth academy and our community,” said coach Danny Cruz. “We are going to miss seeing Josh in the locker room each day, but I could not be more proud of the path that he is on in his career. The type of person he is continues to stand out to me, and we look forward to watching him reach new heights to also become the best player he can be.
“We at Louisville City are committed to the progression of our academy players into the first team while maintaining the highest standard of winning,” Cruz added. “When I look at the alignment we have from ownership throughout the entire club, I firmly believe that we will continue to see talented young players emerge here.”
Benfica last month won its record 38th title in the Primera Liga. Wynder follows former Louisville City defender Jonathan Gomez, who joined Real Sociedad in January 2022.