Professional soccer player Thomas Hasal, 20, is back in his hometown of Saskatoon waiting and trying to stay sharp for any possible chance of the 2020 Major League Soccer (MLS) season restarting.
“But obviously… it was the right thing to do. To make sure everyone was safe. Protect our safety, our family’s safety, the safety of the fans — everyone.”
With league play suspended due to the virus, Hasal packed up and came to stay with his family in the Bridge City.
“To come back, it’s a bit… I guess easier and a bit better. There are more things I can do here rather than in an apartment in Vancouver,” Hasal said.
“It’s better to do it with family than to do it alone… it’s been the best spot to do it, I think.”
Although born in Ontario and proud of his parents’ roots in Czech Republic, Hasal said he’s a Saskatoon boy and people still find it interesting that he’s a professional soccer player from Saskatchewan.
While in the Bridge City, he said his MLS club has been meeting about three times a week via Zoom.
“We also have workouts from our physical preparation stuff… So here in Saskatoon, I’ve got a bit more than I would in Vancouver,” Hasal said.
“A lot of running, a lot of footwork, just to stay fit and then go to the field almost every day individually just to work on things that I wouldn’t normally get the chance to work on.”
Whitecaps FC announced on May 12 that health authorities and infectious disease experts approved its plan to move into the first phase of returning to play with players having the opportunity to conduct voluntary individual workouts at the club’s outdoor training fields.
“There’s more I can do here at this point. And then as soon as we can train with, even just one other person, I’ll be straight back in Vancouver, ready to train again.”
Hasal said there’s been talk about starting the 26-team league up again; however, details are still up in the air.
“Of course, safety is everyone’s main concern right now. But we all just have to get back playing… probably would help fans. We’re looking at going to Orlando, Fla., to play kind of a mini-tournament. So that’s a possibility at this point.”
Hasal played his youth soccer with the Saskatoon club Aurora SC and also represented Canada at the U-18, U-20, and U-23 levels.
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