Vancouver Whitecaps sign CPL goalie Giantsopoulos to a two-day deal

A referee for the Canadian Premier League follows the play down the field during a CPL soccer match between York United FC and Forge Hamilton FC, at York Lions Stadium in Toronto on Friday, July 30, 2021. (Tijana Martin/CP)

Looking for a short-term fix because of a shortage of goalkeepers, the Vancouver Whitecaps signed Canadian Premier League netminder Nikolaos (Niko) Giantsopoulos to a two-day deal on Saturday. 

The Major League Soccer short-term agreement was pending a medical, the Whitecaps said in a release. Giantsopoulos, who plays for York United, was scheduled to join the team on Saturday night and be available for Sunday's game at Charlotte FC.

“We are very thankful to York, especially Niko, head coach Martin Nash, and general manager Angus McNab," said Whitecaps sporting director Axel Schuster. "It is great to see Canadian clubs stand together and we are also grateful to our colleagues at the Canadian Premier League and Canada Soccer for their help.”

The Whitecaps were eligible to make the signing under the extreme hardship rule, when a team has fewer than two goalkeepers available or less than 16 outfield players available.

The team announced Friday that goalkeepers Isaac Boehmer and Cody Cropper, as well as midfielder Pedro Vite, had been placed in the league's health and safety protocols. Regular starting goalkeeper Thomas Hasal is out with a fractured middle finger.

Giantsopoulos, a 27-year-old native of Markham, Ont., has recorded three clean sheets in eight starts for York United across all competitions this season. He helped York United to a scoreless draw with Pacific FC on Friday night.

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