JA - signing

WFC add Uruguayan striker Joaquín Ardaiz as Young Designated Player

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC have added a talented young player to their new attacking corps.

The club announced on Friday the acquisition of 20-year-old Uruguayan striker Joaquín Ardaiz as a Young Designated Player on a year-long loan, with an option to purchase, from Swiss Challenge League club FC Chiasso. Ardaiz 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.

“Joaquín is a young striker with a very high ceiling and has the physical and technical tools to succeed in MLS,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Marc Dos Santos. “He’s at the early stages of his career and we’re going to work with him to reach his full potential. We believe in his ability and we’re looking forward to adding him to the team.”

Whitecaps FC striker Joaquín Ardaiz

  • Represented Uruguay at the U-15 and U-20 levels, including the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup
  • Won the 2017 South American U-20 Championship with Uruguay, scoring two goals to clinch the title
  • Experience playing at top division clubs in Uruguay, Belgium, and Italy
  • Nominated for Tuttosport’s 2018 Golden Boy award for the best U-21 player at a European club after scoring five goals as an 18-year-old with Belgium’s Royal Antwerp FC

TRANSACTION: Whitecaps FC acquire striker Joaquín Ardaiz as a Young Designated Player on a year-long loan, with an option to purchase, from Swiss Challenge League club FC Chiasso. Ardaiz 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.

Ardaiz most recently had a short loan spell at Italian Serie A club Frosinone Calcio, making one appearance against Lazio last September, before being recalled later that month.

The 6-foot-1 striker first ventured outside of his home country at 18 years old, joining Belgium First Division club Royal Antwerp FC as a highly regarded international prospect. He would go on to score five goals in 13 starts and 21 appearances in league action and UEFA Europa League playoffs, as well as make two appearances in the Belgian Cup. At the end of the 2017 season, Ardaiz was recognized 36th in Goal.com's NxGn’s list of the 50 best teenagers in the world. Ardaiz was also named one of 100 finalists for the 2018 Tuttosport Golden Boy award for the best U-21 player at a European club.

After coming through the youth academy of Uruguay’s Danubio FC that famously produced Uruguayan national team striker Edinson Cavani, Ardaiz made his professional debut for the club’s first team as a 17-year-old in February 2016. The native of Salto, Uruguay would go on to make 29 appearances as a teenager in the Primera División, scoring four goals.

At the international level, Ardaiz has represented his country at both the U-15 and U-20 levels. In 2017, he would score two goals against Ecuador to clinch the South American U-20 Championship title for Uruguay, going on to make another seven appearances for his country as they finished fourth at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Joaquín Ardaiz
Pronunciation: hwah-keen ar-dah-eez
Position: Striker
Height: 6-01
Weight: 180
Date of Birth: January 11, 1999 in Salto, Uruguay
Hometown: Salto, Uruguay
Citizenship: Uruguay
Status: International, Young Designated Player
Last club: FC Chiasso (SUI CL: ‘18 - ’19) / Frosinone Calcio (ITA SA: ’18-’19 on-loan)