Whitecaps sign Canadian-born defender Cristian Gutierrez

(Photo: Vancouver Whitecaps FC)

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps have acquired Canadian-born left back Cristian Gutierrez on a free transfer from Chilean Primera Division club Colo-Colo.

The 22-year old Greenfield Park, Que., native, who has represented Chile at the youth level and is eligible to play for Canada, has agreed to a contract through 2021, with an option for 2022 and 2023.

The five-foot-11 defender made his professional debut with Colo-Colo in 2015. He has played five seasons in Chile’s top division, including stints with Union Espanola in 2017, and Huachipato in 2017-18. Over that span, he played in 52 league matches and made 26 appearances in the Copa Chile.

"Cristian was looking for a new opportunity and we are excited to bring him to Vancouver," Whitecaps FC sporting director Axel Schuster said in a statement. "He has the four cornerstones we look for in a player, he is fully aware of the challenge in front of him, and he is excited to continue his development in his native country."

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