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Rio Cardines – The versatile full-back making an impact at Palace

[Credit: CPFC Media]

Introducing Rio Cardines, a rising football sensation who has already made eight appearances for Crystal Palace U18’s at just 16 years of age.

He has also earned a recent call-up to Trinidad and Tobago U17’s and has featured three times for the Caribbean nation.

Position and Style of Play

Cardines is extremely versatile and in his last two games for Crystal Palace, against Fulham and Aston Villa, he played right back and left back respectively.

He can also play on the right side of midfield, which is the position he played in an U17’s game for Trinidad and Tobago against Barbados U17’s. This adaptability is something that will hold Cardines in good stead as he continues his progression.

According to the Palace website, Cardines is a “quick, athletic youngster” and has been impressive since he joined the club last year.


Cardines has played 391 minutes for Palace this season in the U18 Premier League South. He has registered two goals, and two assists from his usual full-back position in this time. He has started three out of these eight games in a Palace team that sit third in the table.

His two goals came against Norwich City and Fulham. In the game against Fulham, Cardines also registered two assists in his side’s 4-0 win.

The Palace website also notes that Cardines “was a part of the side which won a pre-season tournament against Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Dundee United in August 2022”.

International Duties

Cardines was called up to play for Trinidad and Tobago for the first time in January this year. He played three games against Barbados, Canada, and El Salvador.

All three games were in the Concacaf U17 Championship, and it was an eventful trip for the young full-back as he scored against El Salvador in their 3-2 defeat, but was also sent off in their loss against Canada.

The Future

Cardines’ main priority until the end of this season will be to continue to play regular football for Crystal Palace under 18’s. Adding to his goal contribution tally would also be an achievement for the 16 year-old full-back.

Longer term, Cardines will be hoping that he can secure a professional contract at the club. He turns 17 in July this year, so he will be hoping that he can secure his long-term future in the coming months.

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