RENTON — The Sounders formally announced Wednesday the signing of winger Pedro de la Vega. The Argentine has been rumored to join the team since December, was officially confirmed he’d arrive last week and teased that he’s here via the club’s social media account Tuesday.
Seattle gathered media at its new headquarters in Renton to introduce De la Vega. Craig Waibel, the club’s general manager, called the signing the “worst kept secret in Sounders history.”
The 22-year-old is expected to fill the designated player position left by the departure of midfielder Nico Lodeiro. De la Vega can play on either wing, but most likely will compete with Brazilian Leo Chu for the starting job on the left flank.
The Sounders reportedly paid a $7.5 million transfer fee to Club Atletico Lanus to sign De la Vega. The organization was founded in 1915 in the namesake city located in the Buenos Aires Province.
The fee is the most Seattle has paid for a player since 2013 when $9 million was paid to English side Tottenham Hotspur for striker Clint Dempsey. There are reports that MLS covered the charge.
De la Vega made his professional debut in 2019. He’s made 126 appearances for Lanus, through all competitions, and totaled 17 goals with 13 assists.
The right-footer suffered an ACL injury in 2022. In his return last year, he netted six goals and accounted for seven assists, through all competitions.
De la Vega suffered a muscle tear while training with the Argentine Olympic Team earlier this month. He is expected to join the Sounders when the club moves its preseason training camp to Spain on Thursday.
The club will hold their first training at their new facility, Sounders FC Center at Longacres, on Feb. 13. Seattle opens its 2024 season on Feb. 24 against Los Angeles FC at BMO Stadium.
This story will be updated.