Vancouver Whitecaps FC continued their preparations ahead of the start of preseason, acquiring Canadian-born left back Cristián Gutiérrez on Thursday via a free transfer from Chilean Primera División club Colo-Colo.
The 22-year old Greenfield Park, Quebec 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.
“Cristián was looking for a new opportunity and we are excited to bring him to Vancouver,” said Whitecaps FC sporting director Axel Schuster. “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.”
“Cristián is a young left back who has some experience playing in Chile at the highest level,” added Whitecaps FC head coach Marc Dos Santos. “We believe that Cristián will continue to grow and develop at our club. We are very happy to add him to our roster.”
The 5-foot-11 defender developed through the youth ranks at Colo-Colo and eventually made his professional debut with the club in 2015. He has played five seasons in the Chilean Primera División, including stints with Unión Española in 2017, and Huachipato in 2017-18. Over that span, he played in 52 league matches, in addition to 26 appearances in the Copa Chile.
Having moved to Santiago, Chile at age three, Gutiérrez played for Chile at the 2017 CONMEBOL Sudamericano U-20, starting in each of La Rojita’s four matches.