Saskatoon-raised goalkeeper Thomas Hasal is climbing the ranks with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
The club announced March 7 the 19-year-old has signed a Major League Soccer (MLS) homegrown contract through 2020, with options for 2021 and 2022.
He is the second player on the Whitecaps’ roster from Saskatoon, following in the footsteps of Brett Levis.
“This is an amazing moment, it’s what I’ve dreamed of since I was a little kid,” Hasal said in a statement.
“This is the main goal that I have had for the past few years, but nothing stops now, this is only the beginning … I’m excited for what’s to come.”
Born in Ontario, Hasal later settled in Saskatchewan where he played one year with the Saskatoon club Aurora SC.
The goalkeeper originally joined the MLS club’s youth system through the Whitecaps FC Saskatchewan Academy Centre in 2013.
He moved to Vancouver in 2016 to join the U-18 side, which became the U-19 team the following year. In his two seasons in development academy competition, he compiled 23 starts in league play, plus eight more in the post-season.
He led the U-19 team to the Academy Championship semifinals before playing with the club’s newly launched U-23 development squad in 2018.
Hasal becomes the first player signed from the club’s U-23 development team. He is also the fourth teenage Whitecaps FC Academy product on the roster.
“We see a lot of potential in Thomas,” Whitecaps FC head coach Marc Dos Santos said in a press release.
“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.”
At the international level, Hasal first played for Team Canada in 2016 with the U-18 players. He went on to compete in consecutive CONCACAF U-20 Championship tournaments in 2017 and 2018.