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The Canadian Press

The Vancouver Whitecaps have signed Austrian central midfielder Alessandro Schopf to a contract through 2024, with a club option for 2025.

The club said in a release that Shopf was signed using targeted allocation money and will take up an international roster spot pending receipt of his international transfer certificate.

Schopf spent last season with Arminia Bielefeld in Germany’s Bundesliga, where he started 29 of his 33 appearances across all competitions.

He spent six seasons from 2016 to 2021 with German side Schalke 04, scoring 16 goals and adding 10 assists across 93 starts and 143 appearances.

At Schalke, Schopf played under Whitecaps technical director Axel Schuster before the German moved to Vancouver in November 2019.

Prior to his time with Schalke, the Austrian international played two seasons in Germany’s second soccer tier with FC Nurnberg.

A product of FC Bayern Munich’s youth system, the 28-year-old has six goals in 32 appearances with Austria.

“I’m really excited to be here now and it’s a big step for me to come from European football to North America,” Schopf said in a statement. “I hope to bring a lot of success to Vancouver and look forward to seeing all the supporters at BC Place.”