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

MRI wanted for Salmon Arm

Resident urges council to support request, points to many advantages

Saturday snowfall breaks Salmon Arm record

Previous snowfall high was measured on Feb. 17 1900

MLA onboard with effort to mitigate coal dust

Greg Kyllo shares his account of witnessing coal dust escaping from CP Rail train cars

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

No decision yet from Sagmoen bail hearing

Provincial court judge is expected to decide next week if Silver Creek man to remain in custody

Hope raises thousands for two Kelowna charities

The event Hope in Her Eyes managed to raise more than $17,000 for two Kelowna non-profits

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

COLUMN: Benning stands firm on Gudbranson, will keep him with Canucks until 2021

Canucks opt to not trade the 26-year-old defenseman, but sign him to multi-year deal

VIDEO: Four-year-old Revelstoke snowboarder featured in viral video

AJ Pitaoulis tours Revelstoke Mountain Resort with young pal Kasper Treadway

Students head to Florida capital to press for gun law change

Young protestors are joining a grassroots movement against gun violence in the wake of last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida

Stars from Riverdale, Planet of the Apes in Kelowna for KFX

KFX has a jam-packed three day schedule

Liberals look at use-it-or-lose-it parental leave for dads

Liberals looking at creating a use-it-or-lose-it leave for fathers, Trudeau says

UBC research helps with spinal cord injury

Electrical implant could improve daily activities for people with spinal cord injuries: Study

Fred Rogers, America’s favourite neighbour, celebrated in 2018

The golden anniversary of America’s favorite neighbor is being celebrated with a PBS special next month

Most Read