Whitecaps FC acquire Venezuelan international striker Sergio “La Pantera” Córdova

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VANCOUVER, BC – La Pantera joins Vancouver Whitecaps FC as the striker agrees to a three-year contract.

Whitecaps FC announced on Monday that the club has acquired Venezuelan international Sergio Córdova from German Bundesliga side FC Augsburg. Córdova agreed to a contract through 2025, with a club option for 2026, and will occupy a Designated Player and international roster spot - pending receipt of his international transfer certificate and work permit.

Córdova, who led Real Salt Lake in scoring last year while on loan, arrives in Vancouver ahead of the 2023 MLS regular season opener against his former club this Saturday, February 25. Kickoff at BC Place is set for 7:30 p.m. PT.

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Whitecaps FC striker Sergio Córdova

  • Leading goalscorer for Real Salt Lake in 2022 with 11 goals in 34 appearances
  • Five seasons in Germany’s Bundesliga with FC Augsburg and Arminia Bielefeld
  • 16 appearances for Venezuela’s men’s national team
  • Finished tied for second-most goals scored at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup with four

“Sergio is a player who impressed us during his first year in MLS with Real Salt Lake and arrives in Vancouver as he enters his prime,” said Axel Schuster, Whitecaps FC sporting director. “He fits the profile of a striker we want to have amongst our group. He is a proven goalscorer in our league, brings size and strength, as well as tenacity in the final third. We’re excited to welcome Sergio to Vancouver and our club.”

Last year on loan with RSL, Córdova recorded a team-leading 11 goals, as well as two assists in 34 appearances across all competitions. In addition, the native of Calabozo, Venezuela tallied the most expected goals amongst MLS newcomers in 2022 with 10.93.

“I'm very happy to come to Whitecaps FC,” said Córdova. “I am excited, motivated and 100 per cent convinced that this year we will achieve great things. I will do my best for this family. See you soon.”

Prior to going out on loan to Salt Lake, Córdova played four seasons with Bundesliga side FC Augsburg, scoring seven goals and adding three assists in 13 starts and 79 appearances. Córdova had another loan spell during his time with Augsburg, joining fellow German club Arminia Bielefeld for the 2020-21 season. The striker started 13 of his 24 appearances for the Blues, tallying two goals and an assist.

Córdova originally began his career in his native Venezuela with Caracas FC after coming through their youth system. Across three years with the first team, Córdova started 17 of his 36 appearances and recorded four goals, as well as an assist.

Over the course of his career, the 25-year-old has amassed 173 appearances at the club level, scoring 24 goals and adding six assists.

Internationally, Córdova has represented Venezuela 16 times at the senior level, taking part in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, the 2021 Copa América and international friendlies.

Córdova also played for Venezuela’s U-23 and U-20 sides in his youth. At the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the striker played a pivotal role in Venezuela’s road to the final, as he finished tied for the second-most goals in the tournament with four.

TRANSACTION: On February 20, Whitecaps FC acquired Sergio Córdova from FC Augsburg and agreed to a Designated Player contract through 2025, with a club option for 2026. Vancouver received the Major League Soccer right of first refusal for Córdova from Real Salt Lake in exchange for the ‘Caps natural first round pick in the 2024 MLS SuperDraft and up to $300,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) - $100,000 in 2023 GAM and $100,000 in 2024 GAM guaranteed, as well as $100,000 in 2025 GAM if Córdova starts at least five regular season matches prior to December 31, 2024.

Sergio Córdova
Pronunciation: ser-HEE-oh core-doh-va
Position: Striker
Height: 6-02
Weight: 200 pounds
Date of Birth: August 9, 1997 in Calabozo, Venezuela
Hometown: Calabozo, Venezuela
Citizenship: Venezuela
Status: Designated Player, International
Previous Teams: FC Augsburg (2017-22), Real Salt Lake (2022 – loan), Arminia Bielefeld (2020-21 – loan), Caracas FC (2016-17)
Instagram: @sergiocordova22
Twitter: @scordova22