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

Chilliwack boy drops puck at Canucks fight cancer game

Carter Johnston, 11, fighting osteosarcoma and has a growing, prosthetic leg

Fundraiser supports Davidson family, legacy fund announced

Support continues in honour of fallen Abbotsford Police officer

VIDEO: Sto:lo interpretive centre in Chilliwack opens with celebration

Beautiful new space and info panels on Coqualeetza grounds created with Canada 150 grant

Chilliwack’s crime rate the worst in the region

Overall and property crime rates are highest while per capita funding is the lowest

WATCH: Keep your kitchen catchers clean

Fraser Valley woman demonstrates how to make a bag out of newspaper

Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said illicit drugs are often main cause of guns, gangs violence

Riverview youth mental health centre proceeds

Replacement for Maples Treatment Centre first announced in March

Dead boy’s father posts Facebook response after Appeal Court upholds conviction

David, Collet Stephan were found guilty in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis

Trudeau mania, Scheer enthusiasm in B.C. this week

Prime minister, Conservative leader drop in on Surrey, White Rock

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness to kick off season

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

B.C. church defaced with disturbing anti-Christian graffiti

Staff at Crossroads United Church reported the vandalism to police late last week

5 to start your day

Delta police probe anti-Christian graffiti, Langley’s Dallas Smith calls out concertgoers and more

PayPal ordered to disclose business accounts to Canada Revenue Agency

Online payments company has 45 days to hand over information identifying its account holders

Most Read