Charlotte, N.C. (June 8, 2023) – Benfica S.L. announced today the signing of Joshua Wynder, U.S. Youth National and Louisville City FC defender. The deal between the two clubs is the largest transfer fee ever paid for a player in the USL Championship. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Benfica, one of the top clubs not only in Portugal’s top division, but also in European football, is also known for developing young talent. The historic club just won the Primera Liga title for the 38th time and is only second to Real Madrid in UEFA Champions League appearances. 

“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 just returned from Argentina where he started four of five games at the FIFA U-20 World Cup and while there, was named to the U.S. Men’s Concacaf Gold Cup preliminary roster. 

“We are really proud of Josh and how much he has developed over the last few years,” said Mike Gartlan, Wynder’s agent and partner at ProSport Management. “The priority for Josh’s next step was always to find a club that would help him to continue to develop as a person and player. It was a pleasure working with a like-minded club in Louisville to find a good fit for his next move. Benfica came with a great plan and their experience in developing young talent is second to none. Josh’s future is bright, and we are excited to see where he goes from here.”

A native of the Louisville area, Wynder came up through the Louisville City academy, along with his brother Elijah. He signed his first professional contract with the club at 16 and made his debut in July of 2021. In 2022, Josh became a regular starter for the club, received his first call-up to the U.S. Youth National Team and was a finalist for the U.S. Soccer Young Player of the Year, all before he turned 18 years old.

“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.”

For more details, contact Katie Bratland @kb@prosportmanagement.com or +1 612 270 1455.