The Vancouver Whitecaps’ midfield just got stronger with the unexpected arrival of a former Mexican national team player.
The Whitecaps announced on Thursday morning that they have signed veteran Mexican midfielder Efrain Juarez from Liga MX side Monterrey by using Targeted Allocation Money. Juarez’s contract with Vancouver is for two seasons with a club option for a third in 2020.
The 29-year-old Juarez, who earned 39 caps for Mexico from 2009-2011, will occupy an international roster spot.
“We are very excited to add Efrain to our group,” said Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson in a statement released by the club. “He’s an extremely talented player who has experience at the highest level, can play multiple positions, and is the type of character we want at our club. Efrain’s preferred position is in the middle of the park and that’s where I expect him to play the majority of minutes for us.
“We firmly believe in Efrain’s technical ability, grit, and leadership qualities and we look forward to seeing him with our group.”
In addition to providing added versatility to the Whitecaps, Juarez will also bring plenty of experience. He previously won two CONCACAF Gold Cups with El Tri, and has played overseas for Scottish club Celtic and Spanish outfit Real Zaragoza.
Juarez most recently made six starts in 10 appearances for Monterrey during Liga MX’s Apertura campaign in 2017.
Here is more news from around MLS:
FIRE REPORTEDLY AGREE TO TRANSFER FOR QUINTERO
The Chicago Fire’s pursuit of Juan Quintero is apparently going to have a happy resolution.
TheAthletic.com reported on Thursday that the Fire and FC Porto have agreed to terms on a transfer for Quintero. The 24-year-old attacking midfielder had reportedly come to personal terms with Chicago after meeting with the MLS club in December, but a transfer agreement between the Fire and Porto still needed to be sorted out for the move to be made official.
A former Colombian international, Quintero has not made any appearances for the Portuguese powerhouse this season.
EARTHQUAKES LAND URUGUAYAN CENTERBACK QUINTANA
The San Jose Earthquakes’ roster continued to take shape on Wednesday, as the club announced the acquisition of a young South American centerback.
The Earthquakes formally added Yeferson Quintana on a season-long loan from Uruguayan juggernaut Peñarol. The deal for the 21-year-old defender, who stands at 6-foot-4, comes with an option to buy.
“Yeferson fits the profile of the player we wanted to add at this position,” said San Jose general manager Jesse Fioranelli in a statement the club released. “His arrival will also give us different options as to how our defense will line up next season. Yeferson has a strong presence in both phases of the game, which makes him an important addition to our defensive line. He’s already won a championship with a renowned club such as Peñarol and participated in Copa Libertadores.
“Considering that he’s just 21 years old, we look forward to his contribution in the future wearing black and blue.”
Quintana helped Peñarol claim the league title in 2017 by starting in 17 of the 22 league games he played in. He scored three goals while contributing to a stifling defense that gave up a league-low 26 goals in 37 matches.
FIRE ADD RAMOS, SUBTRACT BAVA
It has been a busy couple days for the Fire to say the least.
In the wake of the most recent Quintero reports and a day after re-signing Bastian Schweinsteiger, the Fire made a pair of moves on Thursday by adding fullback Rafael Ramos and terminating the contract of goalkeeper Jorge Bava by mutual consent.
Bava departs the Fire after just one season that saw him make eight starts.
IMPACT WAIVE DEFENDERS LEFEVRE, BOLDOR
As if it was not crystal clear already, the Montreal Impact further made the point that that their back line will look noticeably different this year after cutting ties with a pair of defenders.
The Impact announced on Thursday morning that they have waived depth options Wandrille Lefevre and Deian Boldor. The 28-year-old Lefevre, a long-time member of the club, played in just three matches last year. Boldor, 22, appeared in five games.
The moves under new head coach Remi Garde come in the aftermath of the departures of starters Laurent Ciman and Ambroise Oyongo. Ciman was traded to Los Angeles FC earlier this offseason, and Oyongo opted to sign with Montpellier in France after seeing his contract in Montreal expire.