Rising South Korean soccer star Hwang In-beom joins Whitecaps


South Korea's midfielder Hwang In-Beom controls the ball during the AFC Asian Cup group C soccer match between South Korea and Philippines at Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019. (Kamran Jebreili/AP)

VANCOUVER — Emerging South Korean soccer talent Hwang In-beom is joining the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The team announced Wednesday that it has agreed to a transfer for the 22-year-old midfielder, calling him "one of the top up-and-coming talents in Asia" in a statement on the deal.

No details were released about how much the ‘Caps will pay South Korea’s Daejeon Citizen FC for rights to the burgeoning star, but media reports have pegged the figure at $1.8 million.

Hwang’s contract is for two years through 2020, though Vancouver will have options to extend in 2021 and 2022.

The five-foot-10, 155-pound athlete joined Daejeon Citizen FC’s first team in 2015 and has put up 15 goals for the club in 88 league appearances.

He’s also been called up to the Korean national team 12 times, including for the Asian Cup earlier this month where he was listed as one of the tournament’s 10 best young stars to watch.

Whitecaps head coach Marc Dos Santos says in a statement that Hwang is an "exciting young talent" who the club has had their eye on for a while.

"He’s a creative midfielder who is incredibly gifted technically and was coveted by a number of clubs around the world," Dos Santos said. "He fits into the style we want to play very well. We’re excited to work with Hwang and help him reach his full potential."

Once official paperwork is complete, the native of Daejeon, South Korea, will occupy an international spot on the Whitecaps’ roster and be listed as a young designated player. Vancouver has five international spots available.

Hwang is just the latest acquisition for the club.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Whitecaps announced they had signed 32-year-old right back Scott Sutter to one-year deal. Last week, Vancouver added defensive midfielder Jon Erice, as well as wingers Lass Bangoura and Lucas Venuto.

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