Whitecaps ink Scottish star Ryan Gauld

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps have officially signed Scottish attacking midfielder Ryan Gauld to a three-year designated player contract.

The club announced the long-rumoured deal Saturday, saying in a release that the 25-year-old will begin training with the team in Vancouver next week.

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Gauld has spent last season playing for Portuguese side Farnese where he tallied nine goals and seven assists in 33 games. He led the team in scoring and ranked sixth in Primeira Liga in assists.

Whitecaps head coach Marc Dos Santos said the five-foot-seven, 150-pound player will provide the team with options.

"He has very good delivery and is very dynamic without the ball. He also brings leadership qualities and experience to the group, which will help our young players next to him grow and become better," Dos Santos said in a statement. "We are very glad to have him joining our club."

The native of Aberdeen came up through Dundee United's youth system and previously played for Sporting Lisbon.

Sporting director Axel Schuster said in a statement that the 'Caps began pursuing Gauld in January.

"It was a complicated process due to several factors but as he was our top target, we never gave up," Schuster said. "He is a difference maker, brings experience, as well as an exceptional work rate, all qualities we identified as being key characteristics that we need in this position.

The Whitecaps (3-7-5) are set to host Minnesota United at their temporary base in Sanday, Utah, on Saturday. It will be the final "home" game Vancouver plays south of the border this season.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 31, 2021.

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