Toronto FC has bolstered its goalkeeping depth by signing youth academy product Quillan Roberts to a senior team contract.
A source with intimate knowledge of the negotiations between the two sides confirmed to sportsnet.ca on Monday that an official announcement from the team will be made sometime this week.
Roberts, an 18-year-old native of Brampton, Ont., has been with the TFC’s youth program for the past few years but has been training with the Reds’ first team ever since Stefan Frei broke his ankle during a team practice on March 24.
Milos Kocic was tabbed TFC’s starter at the start of the 2012 Major League Soccer season. The Reds only had two goalkeepers under contract when Frei went down, forcing them to dip into the league’s emergency goalkeeping pool. Rookie Brian Rowe has served as Kocic’s backup in the interim.
The club revealed last week that Frei, 25, underwent successful surgery on the broken ankle and is expected to be out of action for four to six months. His long-term absence forced the club’s hand to go out and find a more long-term backup solution, hence the signing of Roberts.
Roberts becomes the latest in a growing number of TFC youth academy graduates to sign a contract with the senior team, following in the footsteps of defenders Doneil Henry and Ashtone Morgan, midfielders Matt Stinson and Oscar Cordon, and forwards Nicholas Lindsay and Keith Makubuya.
The TFC goalkeeper shot to fame last year after he scored a goal for Canada against England at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico. Before that he won a silver medal with Canada at the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Jamaica.