The Vancouver Whitecaps added yet another attacking option on Thursday, signing 22-year-old winger Cristian Techera on a season-long loan with an option to buy from Uruguayan club Atletico River Plate Montevideo. Per league and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
To facilitate the deal, Vancouver first acquired the right of first refusal to Techera from Toronto FC in a trade for allocation money earlier Thursday.
“We are thrilled to welcome Cristian to our club,” Vancouver head coach Carl Robinson said in a statement released by the team. “He is a quick natural winger, who can play on both sides of the pitch. He has great technical ability and will excite in the natural third.”
Techera has spent his entire professional career with River Plate Montevideo, making his first-team debut in April 2010 at the age of 17. In the five years since, Techera has racked up 74 appearances, including 45 starts, in Uruguay’s top flight, scoring 18 goals. Ten of those goals and 24 of those appearances came this season.
Standing at just 5-foot-2, Techera is tied with Real Salt Lake’s Joao Plata as the shortest player in MLS. He’ll have a few familiar faces welcoming him to Vancouver; he played with ‘Caps attacker Nicolas Mezquida on the Paysandú regional team in Uruguay and was teammates with Vancouver center back Diego Rodriguez’s younger brother, Leandro, on River Plate Montevideo.
Techera was linked to Vancouver late last month, with a Uruguayan journalist reporting on March 26 that the 'Caps had signed the winger.
“I am very happy and excited to join Whitecaps FC,” Techera said in the club statement. “I will work hard to support the team and will do everything I can to help our team achieve our goals.”