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

Dumping at Shaw Road “disgusting”

CSRD praises volunteers, wants illegal dumpers prosecuted

Sicamous pulls out of CSRD economic committee

District launches its own economic development corporation on Jan. 1, 2018

Controlled burns taking place across Okanagan

That smoke you see on Okanagan hillsides is supposed to be there

Slideshow: Shuswap Stars sparkle on the dance floor

Stunning choreography raises funds for new chalet at Larch Hills

Big White to send off Olympians in style

Okanagan ski resort picked as location for official send-off of Canada’s 2018 Winter Olympic team

Video: Shuswap stars shine for Larch Hills

Competitors dance to the tune of $30,000 for the chalet expansion

Cash donations create purchase power

Salvation Army and food banks stretch a donated dollar a long way

B.C. reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

ICBC overbilling for crash repairs not the problem, dealers say

Collision repair shops reject union claim of inflated costs

B.C. groups to address child sex abuse in sports

viaSport is organizing a full day of education in association with Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Coaching Association of Canada.

Silver Star opens Thursday

Vernon’s ski hill has plenty of snow and plenty of fun packed for opening weekend

Report sets exercise guidelines for young kids, including ‘tummy time’ for babies

Kids aged one to four should get at least three hours of physical activity throughout the day

Stampeders return to Grey Cup with 32-28 win over Edmonton Eskimos

The Stampeders will face the Toronto Argonauts next Sunday in Ottawa for the title

Traxxas Monster Truck Tour to roll into Kelowna

Monster Trucks at Prospera Place on Jan. 13-14, 2018.

Most Read