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Philadelphia native CJ dos Santos returns to the U.S. to sign with Inter Miami

The 21-year-old has been with Benfica since 2016

United States of America U20 v France U20 - International Friendly Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Philadelphia native CJ dos Santos has returned to the U.S. to sign with Inter Miami more than five years after leaving to sign with Portuguese club Benfica at age 16.

The now 21-year-old who has represented the U.S. as a youth international and was in camp with the senior team in December 2020.

“CJ is a gifted young goalkeeper with really good feet,” Inter Miami chief soccer officer and sporting director Chris Henderson stated in a news release. “His distribution and reading of the game are very strong for a young keeper and we’re excited to bring him onboard and help further his development. He’ll come in and add competition to a strong goalkeeper unit.”

Dos Santos was signed to a contract through 2024 with club options for 2025 and 2026.

The goalkeeper was a standout with the Philadelphia Union Academy but with parents from Cape Verde and Portugal he had the opportunity to go overseas at 16 and chase his dreams with the Portuguese giant.

Prior to joining the Union, he previously played for FC Delco, Philadelphia Soccer Club and Foxchase SC.

Dos Santos joins LAFC keeper Tomas Romero and Philadelphia Union homegrown Matt Freese as former Union Academy keepers in MLS. Philadelphia native and former Union keeper John McCarthy moved from Inter Miami to LAFC last month.