The Vancouver Whitecaps now own Cristian Techera—lock, stock and barrel.
The Canadian club announced on Wednesday that is has signed Techera, 23, to a multi-year contract after finalizing his transfer from Uruguayan outfit River Plate Montevideo.
“Cristian has shown in his first year that he’s a terrific young player,” Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson said in a news release.
“He’s the type of player that gets fans out of their seats. We’re thrilled to have him remain with the club.”
Nicknamed “El Bicho” (The Bug), Techera began a season-long loan at Vancouver last April. The diminutive winger—he stands five-feet-two-inches—was one of the Whitecaps’ best players during the 2015 Major League Soccer campaign, scoring seven goals and adding five assists.
In total, he made 21 starts in 26 appearances, including two playoff games, and he linked up well with countrymen Octavio Rivero and Nicolas Mezquida in attack.
Little surprise, then, that locking up Techera was a big off-season priority for Vancouver.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the Whitecaps did confirm they used targeted allocation money, or TAM, to complete his signing. MLS teams received $500,000 in TAM last season and were given another $800,000 to use in both 2016 and 2017.
TAM doesn’t count against the salary caps and allows teams to add or re-sign players in the $457,000 to $1 million range, which means Techera’s transfer fee and salary must have been more than $457,000.
There is also a minimum salary cap hit of $150,000 for players signed using TAM. Techera earned $85,000 last season, according to the MLS Players Union website.
Soccer Central podcast: SPORTSNET.CA's Soccer Central podcast, hosted by John Molinaro and James Sharman, takes an in-depth look at the beautiful game and offers timely and thoughtful analysis on the sport's biggest issues. To listen and subscribe to the podcast, CLICK HERE.