Liga MX giants Monterrey sign USMNT forward Brandon Vazquez from FC Cincinnati

Liga MX giants Monterrey sign USMNT forward Brandon Vazquez from FC Cincinnati

Liga MX giants Monterrey have signed US men’s national team forward Brandon Vazquez from FC Cincinnati to a four-year contract that runs through December 2027.

Vazquez is finally getting his move away from Major League Soccer, joining of the biggest clubs in North America in Rayados. The 25-year-old striker was eager to move during the summer 2023 window — with European clubs interested — Cincinnati refused to sanction a sale after transferring Brenner to Serie A side Udinese earlier in the window.

“We’d like to thank Brandon for all his contributions to FC Cincinnati,” FCC general manager Chris Albright said in a release.

“He was a centerpiece of the team that brought FC Cincinnati its first trophy, and he’ll forever be part of the fabric of this club. He’s an incredibly talented player and an even better person, and we look forward to his future success. We wish Brandon and his family all the best.”

Monterrey sealed the deal by shelling out a reported $7.5m for Vazquez that also includes an additional $1m in add-ons as well future sell-on percentage for FC Cincinnati.

Vazquez has improved year after year in MLS with Cincinnati and Atlanta United after spending time with the Tijuana youth setup in Mexico. He signed with the Five Stripes ahead of their inaugural 2017 campaign but was never really able to cement himself as a regular due to Josef Martinez’s emergence under Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino.

The San Diego, California native went on to suit up for Atlanta 39 times, scoring nine goals and adding four assists across all competitions. Vazquez was part of an Atlanta squad that lifted three trophies in two years, winning the 2018 MLS Cup, 2019 US Open Cup and 2019 Campeones Cup.

Following the conclusion of the 2019 season, Vazquez was selected eighth in the 2019 Expansion draft by Nashville SC ahead of their first season in the league. Despite being selected by the Coyotes, he would never actually make an appearance as he was traded to Cincinnati in exchange for $150k in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM).

After two subpar seasons in 2020 and 2021, Vazquez enjoyed a breakout year in 2022, during which he tallied 19 goals in 36 appearances for the Orange and Blue as they came up short in the Eastern Conference semifinal vs Phildelphia Union. Vazquez then helped Cincinnati to their first-ever trophy in 2023 as his 17 goals pushed the club toward the Supporters’ Shield.

“Cincinnati holds a special place in my heart. The best years of my career have been here and I’ll cherish the memories I’ve had here forever,” said Vazquez.

“Having Cincinnati fans behind my back for the past four years has pushed me to be able to achieve what I have been able to do. Not only me, but the team. I know every single player feels the exact same way. This city is special and I love it. Cincinnati, I have been so grateful for your support since day one. I just want to say thank you.”

Vazquez departs MLS after managing 144 appearances (80 starts), scoring 35 goals and adding 19 assists for Atlanta and Cincinnati. He also notched two goals in six postseason appearances.

Vazquez has impressed at the international level with the USMNT despite the limited chances he’s been given. In eight appearances, he’s found the back of the net four times and was part of the US squad that lifted the 2023 Concacaf Nations League title over Canada in June.

Vazquez, who holds dual citizenship in the US and Mexico, joins a Rayados side that currently sit in second place in the Liga MX Apertura behind Club America with 33 points from 17 games played. With the likes of Jesus Corona, Luis Romo, and now Vazquez, Monterrey will aim to push on for the Apertura title and the Concacaf Champions League.

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