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Pedro de la Vega 'will be here', Brian Schmetzer says

Sounders give first definitive on-record statement about rumored signing.

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TUKWILA, Wash. – Although the Seattle Sounders held their first official day of preseason training camp on Tuesday without rumored signing Pedro de la Vega in attendance, head coach Brian Schmetzer gave the clearest indication yet that midfielder will eventually join the club.

“He will be here at some point,” Schmetzer told reporters. “Let’s keep our fingers crossed that everything is buttoned up, but we’ll see him. He’s a good player.”

Behind the scenes, the Sounders have expressed a measured confidence that de la Vega’s likely club-record signing would be completed. But as the negotiations have stretched on for well over a month, Schmetzer’s comments should come as some measure of relief for anyone who was starting to harbor serious doubts.

Once de la Vega arrives, the expectation is that he’ll compete for starter’s minutes in what is looking like a reasonably competitive attack. Jordan Morris and Raúl Ruidíaz are both vying for the No. 9 spot, while three of de la Vega, Albert Rusnák, Léo Chú and Cristian Roldan will likely fill in the line behind them.

“He likes to get the ball, run at people,” Schmetzer said when asked to assess how de la Vega will fit in. “He’ll be goal dangerous in that sense. But he’s not here yet and I’ll reserve judgement. Looks really good on film. He’ll be a good addition to the squad.

“The guys that are playing well will play. There will be competition for this spots. I like the way the squad is setting up.”