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Whitecaps sign Etienne Barbara, TFC waives Elbekay Bouchiba

A giant Vancouver Whitecaps flag flies in the stands during the first half of an MLS soccer game against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the Toronto FC in Vancouver, March 19, 2011.

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

The Vancouver Whitecaps have signed striker Etienne Barbara, pending receipt of his international transfer certificate.

Barbara, who has been practising with the Whitecaps in recent weeks, was the top scorer and MVP in the second-tier NASL in 2011 with 20 goals and eight assists in 27 games for the Carolina RailHawks.

The 29-year-old has made 30 international appearances for Malta and joins new Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie in Major League Soccer. Rennie coached Barbara with Carolina for the last two seasons.

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"Etienne is an aggressive, powerful player that is determined to succeed," Rennie said Tuesday in a statement. "He brings versatility to our lineup both as a wide midfielder or a striker."

Vancouver acquired Barbara's MLS rights from the Montreal Impact in exchange for Mexican defender Gienir Garcia, who was selected second overall in the 2012 MLS supplemental draft by the Whitecaps.

In other MLS moves, Toronto FC waived midfielder Elbekay Bouchiba. The 33-year-old did not play a game for Toronto FC in 2011 following knee surgery to repair a torn ACL suffered during the pre-season.

Meanwhile, the Montreal Impact announced former Italian international forward Bernardo Corradi will join the club Wednesday in Orlando, Fla., on a tryout.

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