Montréal Impact land Costa Rica winger Johan Venegas
Montréal Impact bolstered their attacking options by signing Costa Rica winger Johan Venegas on Monday.
Venegas joined the Impact from Costa Rica side LD Alajuelense for an undisclosed fee. Montréal used targeted allocation money to facilitate Venegas' arrival in MLS, according to a club release.
“Johan is a quality player at a good age,” Impact head coach and director of player personnel Frank Klopas said in a statement. “He will help this team in the second half of the season and he is a good addition for the future of this club.”
The emerging winger impressed with Alajuelense over the past couple of years in the Costa Rican league and in the CONCACAF Champions League. His rise to prominence with one of Costa Rica's largest clubs pushed him into the national team picture after the FIFA World Cup last year. Costa Rica coach Paulo Wanchope included him in the 23-man squad for the CONCACAF Gold Cup and played him in all four matches as the Ticos exited at the quarterfinal stage.
Venegas figures to compete for playing time on either flank in Klopas' preferred 4-2-3-1 setup. The 26-year-old is naturally right-footed, but he often starts as an inverted operator on the left. His arrival increases the pressure on Dilly Duka, Dominic Oduro and Andres Romero to produce consistently to keep their places in the starting XI. The former Puntarenas schemer can also play through the middle, but the Impact are well stocked in that department with Didier Drogba to lead the line and Ignacio Piatti to provide the creative impetus.
Venegas trained with his Impact teammates for the first time on Monday. He will join the active roster once he secures a Canadian work permit and MLS and the Impact receive his International Transfer Certificate.