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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Vancouver Whitecaps sign Japan striker Masato Kudo

Masato Kudo will join the Whitecaps in 2016.

The Vancouver Whitecaps have signed Japan international striker Masato Kudo on a free transfer, the MLS club announced on Tuesday.

Kudo, 25, has scored 92 goals in 260 appearances for Kashiwa Reysol in the J-League and earned four caps with Japan in 2013.

"Masato has a very good goal scoring record and we are always looking at adding to the group," Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson said in a statement.

"He has a natural ability to find space in the box, which generates goal scoring opportunities. He is technically good with both feet and, as always required, he is a hard working player.

"Masato can play as a lone forward, or in a partnership, and is able to play wide when called upon."

Kudo joins a Whitecaps team that managed just seven goals in its final eight regular-season games in 2015, then failed to score in two legs against the eventual champions Portland Timbers in the playoffs.

"I am thrilled to join Vancouver Whitecaps FC for the new season," Kudo said in a statement.

"I am hoping to score as many goals as possible and help lead the team to victory. I am also really looking forward to playing in front of the great supporters at BC Place."

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