Pedro de la Vega’s signing has been completed and he is due to arrive in Seattle to meet his new teammates on Tuesday, Sounder at Heart has learned. The 22-year-old Argentine attacker will then accompany the Sounders as they move preseason to Marbella, Spain from Jan. 26-Feb. 10, where they are expected to play a few friendly matches before closing out preseason at the new Longacres facility in Renton.
The signing closes the book on a rather drawn-out saga that stretched back to at least early December. Those close to negotiations have rarely expressed much serious doubt about it getting done, but the final details took a bit longer to hammer out than most had seemingly anticipated.
The latest reports out of Argentina suggest the Sounders ultimately agreed to pay $7.5 million to Lanús, who will retain a 20% sell-on fee. De la Vega will become the Sounders' first-ever Young DP, meaning he'll only count $200,000 against the salary cap while also allowing them the flexibility to sign two additional U22 players. Josh Atencio is expected to fill one of those two new spots.
Despite the delays, that de la Vega will be able to actually train with the Sounders earlier than expected. Up until about two weeks ago, de la Vega had been expected to miss this portion of preseason due to his involvement with the Argentina U23 team who is preparing to play in an Olympic qualifying tournament. But de la Vega suffered a muscle injury and, seemingly as more of a precaution, was replaced on the roster. It was not immediately clear how much longer de la Vega will have to refrain from training, but the injury is apparently not considered very serious.