Toronto FC sign Mark Pais to first-team contract, to serve as backup ‘keeper

Toronto FC elevate Pais to first team

Toronto FC signed goalkeeper Mark Pais to an MLS contract Tuesday, paving the way to move the TFC 2 ‘keeper to the first-team roster as backup to Alex Bono.

Toronto lost No. 1 ‘keeper Clint Irwin to a hamstring strain in Friday’s night’s home opener against Sporting Kansas City. Irwin is expected to be out four to five weeks.

The 25-year-old Pais (pronounced pace) signed with Toronto’s USL affiliate on March 7.

The six-foot-four, 200-pound native of St. Louis spent the past two seasons with Saint Louis FC of the USL after a collegiate career split between Saint Louis University and the University of Tulsa.

Bono will start Saturday for Toronto (1-0-3) against visiting Atlanta United (2-1-1).

Irwin went down clutching his leg after his foot got jammed making a save on the wet turf at BMO Field in the 0-0 tie with Kansas City. He managed to limp off as he was replaced by Bono.

“The news on Clint is good considering the circumstances,” coach Greg Vanney said after training Monday.

Vanney feared the worst when he saw Irwin’s leg hyperextended.

“Something’s got to give and I was hoping it wasn’t a ligament or something,” he said. “As Jim Liston, our sports science guy, said the hamstring did its job, which is it caught and it protected the knee. The unfortunate part is the hamstring is what then takes the injury, but that’s obviously a far less troublesome injury than if it was a ligament or something like that. That was the good news out of it.”

April is also a slow month schedule-wise for TFC, with just a game a week. There are eight games in May.

“Hopefully (Irwin) can be available as we move into the busy May,” Vanney added. “That’s our goal.”

Toronto brought Pais back from Florida midway through TFC 2’s two-game swing through Florida. He started Saturday in a 4-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rowdies. He also started TFC 2’s season-opening 1-0 win in Phoenix.

“It was good to get him a couple of games prior to this, just in case,” said Vanney. “You never know how things go.”

 

Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

 

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Sentence handed down for sex assaults committed more than 30 years ago

Man in his 80s will serve a conditional sentence in the community

BC Ferries considers passenger only ferry between West Shore and Victoria

Royal Bay, Esquimalt and Ship Point considered as part of study into new route

Tsawout councillor visits Saturna to meet logging protestors

Three Tsawout members engaged in direct action to stop logging, in defiance of leadership

Saanich police continue to search for attacker in Gordon Head sexual assault

Police urge residents to remain vigilant, lock doors and windows

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Reeling Port Alice about to lose its only bank

Scotiabank branch closure follows latest mill setback, bad for business and the elderly

Simard guilty in Vancouver Island double murder

Convicted of two counts of second-degree murder in 2016 killing of Courtenay couple

Crab poaching under cover of darkness earns 10-year commercial fishing ban, vessel seizure

A Cape Mudge resident involved in poaching dungeness crabs in Vancouver Harbour… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 12

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you consider living in a tiny home?

Victoria is the latest Capital Region community to take a look at… Continue reading

Songs of the Queen of Soul coming to Victoria

Denita Asberry stars in Aretha Franklin tribute show at the McPherson Playhouse

Most Read