Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that midfielder Panayiotis Alexiou "Peter" Vagenas has been signed to the club's Major League Soccer (MLS) roster. Per club policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.
"Peter is an experienced MLS player that reads the game well and is strong technically," said Whitecaps FC head coach Teitur Thordarson. "He will bring additional leadership to our squad, as we head into an important stretch of our season."
Vagenas, 33, joins Whitecaps FC after spending the past two seasons with MLS rivals Seattle Sounders FC, who had selected him as the sixth pick in the 2008 MLS Expansion Draft. He started 16 of his 21 total appearances with the Emerald City outfit for 1,282 minutes of action, recording two assists in the process. Last season, the midfielder started all seven of his Sounders FC appearances for 542 minutes of action.
Prior to joining Seattle in 2009, the 5-foot-8 midfielder spent eight seasons with LA Galaxy, winning two MLS Cup titles with the Southern California outfit in 2002 and 2005. The native of Pasadena, California, had his best season in 2005, captaining the Galaxy to both the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup and MLS Cup titles, while scoring five goals and recording four assists. On November 7, 2007, Vagenas travelled with the Galaxy to Vancouver to play 45 minutes in a friendly match against Whitecaps FC at BC Place Stadium. In his ten-year MLS career, Vagenas has started 180 of his 204 regular season appearances, scoring 14 goals and recording 20 assists.
Vagenas was drafted by the Galaxy in the second round of the 2000 MLS SuperDraft following a successful NCAA Division I career at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). From 1996 to 1999, Vagenas scored 15 goals and recorded 30 assists during his four-year career with the Bruins. As a sophomore, the midfielder helped UCLA to the NCAA College Cup title.
"I'm very pleased to join Vancouver Whitecaps FC," said Vagenas. "I've played in this league for a number of years and I've had some great experiences playing with the Galaxy and Sounders FC. I'm excited to start this new challenge in Vancouver."
Internationally, Vagenas has represented the United States at the U-23 Olympic and senior levels. This included scoring three goals for his country, as he led the USA to a fourth-place finish at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The midfielder has also made three senior appearances for the Americans, having made his debut versus arch-rivals Mexico at the Los Angeles Coliseum on October 25, 2000.
Peter VagenasPronunciation: Va-yeah-NOSS
Born: February 6, 1978, in Pasadena, California
Hometown: Pasadena, California
Citizenship: United States
Last Club: Colorado Rapids (MLS)