Vancouver Whitecaps land Cristian Techera on loan

The Uruguayan winger comes to Vancouver after the Whitecaps struck a deal with Canadian rival Toronto FC.
VANCOUVER – Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson admitted he was searching for another attacking winger this spring, and a day after a 2-2 home draw with the Columbus Crew, the club confirmed the long-awaited loan signing of Uruguayan import Cristian Techera.

The diminutive 22-year-old has been the subject of becoming the Whitecaps' latest acquisition after multiple reports in Uruguay suggested the midfielder was on his way to North America and MLS this week.

Techera arrives on Canada’s west coast on a season-long loan, with an option for a permanent transfer, from Uruguayan side Club Atlético River Plate Montevideo. The loan deal is pending receipt of Techera’s international transfer certificate, as well as his Canadian work permit and visa.

In order to complete the loan, the Whitecaps confirmed in a press release Thursday that they needed to acquire the first right of refusal to the winger from Canadian rival Toronto FC in exchange for allocation money. Last Friday, Vancouver also used allocation money to acquire an additional international roster spot through the end of 2016 from the New England Revolution.

“We are thrilled to welcome Cristian to our club,” Robinson said. “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 attacking third.”

Techera brings plenty of experience to the ‘Caps, having spent six seasons with River Plate Montevideo in the Uruguayan Primera División, where he made his professional debut as a 17-year-old in April 2010. During that time, the winger started 45 of his 74 appearances and scored 18 goals.

He also saw action in South American club competition, having started four matches and scored one goal in both the 2013 and 2014 Copa Sudamericana for River Plate Montevideo.

“I am very happy and excited to join Whitecaps FC,” Techera said. “I will work hard to support the team and will do everything I can to help our team achieve our goals.”

Techera’s arrival gives further options on the flanks for Robinson: Kekuta Manneh and Nicolas Mezquida are both currently in good form, while veteran Mauro Rosales is close to returning from an ankle injury.

As part of a growing South American contingent in Vancouver, Techera is reunited with Mezquida, whom he played with on the regional team of Paysandú in Uruguay, plus fellow countrymen Octavio Rivero and Diego Rodríguez. Techera was also a teammate of Rodríguez’s younger brother Leandro during his last three seasons at River Plate Montevideo.