VANCOUVER, BC – A Mexican Liga MX veteran who started in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and spent two years in the FC Barcelona academy is headed to Vancouver.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Thursday that the club has acquired midfielder Efraín Juárez, who can also play right back, from Liga MX side Club de Futbol Monterrey. Juárez, 29, has agreed to an MLS contract through 2019, with a club option for 2020, and will be added to the roster with the use of Targeted Allocation Money. He will occupy an international roster spot and officially join the club’s roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC), work permit, visa, and medical examinations.
“We are very excited to add Efraín to our group,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson. “He’s an extremely talented player who has experience at the highest level, can play multiple positions, and is the type of character we want at our club. Efraín’s preferred position is in the middle of the park and that’s where I expect him to play the majority of minutes for us. We firmly believe in Efraín’s technical ability, grit, and leadership qualities and we look forward to seeing him with our group.”
Whitecaps FC midfielder Efraín Juárez
- 274 professional club appearances with Mexican sides CF Monterrey, Pumas UNAM, and Club America, Scottish Premiership side Celtic FC, and then La Liga side Real Zaragoza
- 39 senior caps with Mexico, including three matches at the 2010 FIFA World Cup
- Two-time CONCACAF Gold Cup winner, as well as the 2005 U-17 FIFA World Cup
- Spent two years in the FC Barcelona academy
“I’m so happy and excited for this new stage in my career,” Juarez said. “It’s an opportunity for me to keep growing in a new league and to be a part of an amazing club in Vancouver. From the moment they showed interest me, Carl Robinson and the Whitecaps staff have made me feel very important. I promise to put all my effort into this club and do my best to help us achieve our goals.”
Juárez is Vancouver’s seventh acquisition of the offseason, including strikers Kei Kamara and Anthony Blondell, as the ‘Caps continue to build their roster ahead of the 2018 season opener on March 4 against Montreal Impact.
Juárez joins Whitecaps FC after five straight seasons with Monterrey in the top-flight of Mexico. Most recently, the Mexico City native helped “Rayados” capture the 2017 Copa MX title with appearances in seven of their eight matches. Monterrey also finished second in the 2017 Apertura.
Before joining Monterrey, Juárez spent time with Liga MX giants Club America, then La Liga side Real Zaragoza, Scottish Premiership side Celtic FC, and Mexican side Pumas UNAM, with whom he started his professional career. Juárez also came through the Pumas UNAM youth system, before spending two seasons with the FC Barcelona Academy.
Juárez has scored 11 times at the professional level, including goals in the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, Liga MX, Copa MX, La Liga, and CONCACAF Champions League.
Internationally, Juárez has appeared in 39 matches with Mexico at the senior level, including three appearances at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He also helped Mexico win the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2009 and 2011, as well as the 2005 U-17 FIFA World Cup. In addition, Juárez represented Mexico in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which Canada hosted.
Pronunciation: ef-rah-EEn hWAH-rEHz