Sounders sign Argentinian winger Pedro de la Vega to young designated player deal

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The Seattle Sounders signed young Argentinian winger Pedro de la Vega on Wednesday, adding another highly paid attacker to their lineup.

The 22-year-old will occupy a young designated player spot on Seattle’s roster and is the third designated player overall for the Sounders along with striker Raul Ruidíaz and Albert Rusnák. De la Vega’s deal runs through the 2027 season with an option for 2028.

Seattle general manager Craig Waibel joked the signing has been the “worst kept secret in Seattle soccer,” as there was rumors of de la Vega’s arrival back in the fall and the Sounders had hoped to have the deal wrapped up before the end of 2023.

“We’ve been talking about this for months and the excitement has been growing,” Waibel said.

De la Vega spent five seasons playing for Lanús in the top division in Argentina, breaking in with the club as a 17-year-old. Last year was his best season appearing in a career-high 25 matches in league play and scoring six goals with three assists. Across all competitions, de la Vega had 17 goals in 126 appearances for Lanús.

Along with his club team background, de la Vega also was part of Argentina’s team at the 2020 Olympics. He missed the 2022 season after suffering a major knee injury.

De la Vega is expected to join Seattle for its preseason training camp in Spain beginning this weekend.

“This is going to be a new path for me where I have very high expectations on the sport side, but I also have high expectations on the personal side for my personal development as well,” de la Vega said through an interpreter.