The Vancouver Whitecaps have added another piece to their squad. Joining the first team squad from the club’s prolific academy, which also produced Bayern star Alphonso Davies, is goalkeeper Thomas Hasal.
Hasal was penned to an MLS Homegrown contract through 2020, with options for 2021 and 2022.
“This is an amazing moment, it’s what I’ve dreamed of since I was a little kid,” Hasal said. “This is the main goal that I have had for the past few years, but nothing stops now, this is only the beginning.”
Signing with the first team is the latest step in the 6-foot-3 goalkeeper’s development. Born in Cambridge, Ontario, Hasal grew up in Saskatchewan, where he was ultimately discovered by the Vancouver Whitecaps.
In 2013, he joined the Whitecaps FC Saskatchewan Academy Centre, where he impressed enough for the coaches to invite him to join the club’s academy in Vancouver in 2016. Since joining the Development Academy competition, Hasal compiled 23 starts in league play, plus eight more in the playoffs. In 2018 he led the U-19 team to the Academy Championship semifinals before playing with the club’s newly launched U-23 development squad.
“We see a lot of potential in Thomas,” said Whitecaps head coach Marc Dos Santos. “He was recommended by our Academy coaches and we liked what we saw during preseason. With our structure in place with the U-23 development squad, he will have the opportunity to continue to grow as a goalkeeper and progress in our club.”
— Whitecaps FC Academy (@WFCAcademy) March 7, 2019
With Theo Bair, Michael Baldisimo and 16-year-old Simon Colyn, already with the Whitecaps, Hasal will become the fourth young star in this season’s squad produced by the club’s Canada wide academy system. Ultimately, the club hopes the academy could become an important backbone in the club’s recruitment policy and also a source of regular income by selling players abroad as they did with Davies.
In the medium-term Hasal’s signing also raises questions regarding the club’s goalkeeper situation. The club signed Maxime Crépeau and Zac MacMath this winter and Crépeau was given the start against Minnesota on matchday 1. With four keepers under contract, the question is whether the club will hang on to two established netminders?