Hasal: ‘I Want To Get My First Cap’
With rumours swirling that a Canadian national team camp will take place next month in Florida, one Whitecaps youngster is hoping to etch his name into the senior side’s roster for the first time: Thomas Hasal.
The 21-year-old goalkeeper had a breakout campaign for the Vancouver Whitecaps this year, with the third string goalkeeper racking up 212 minutes of action at the MLS Is Back bubble tournament before making seven MLS regular season appearances, impressing fans with several solid stops amid a rookie season that saw him nicknamed Hasal ‘The Wall’.
Unfortunately, a tibia fracture sidelined his debut campaign early, with the Cambridge-born shotstopper now hoping to bounce back in a big way after his whirlwind year was cut short.
I was on the bench at the time Max went down. Everything happened so quickly, I got my gloves on and then two seconds later I was in. I didn’t realize the moment until it was past already. In the beginning, I was on probably the highest point of my life. Then, of course, I got a few injuries which took me from my highest back down to the lowest.Thomas Hasal
The Whitecaps found themselves with plenty of goalkeeper selection issues across the year, with the MLS side forced to utilize no less than six goalkeepers throughout both the MLS Is Back Tournament and the regular season.
The club’s current roster lists Maxime Crepeau and fellow academy graduate Isaac Boehmer as Hasal’s competition, with Vancouver Whitecaps CEO Axel Schuster stating that there might be a situation where Hasal wouldn’t be the number one next year for the MLS side. If that ends up being the case, he’d likely be sent out on loan next season so that his development isn’t slowed.
For Hasal, he wants to follow up an impressive rookie campaign with solid performances that will help him reach his next goal: appearing for the national team.
I want to come back healthy, strong, and in a better spot mentally and physically than I was before. On top of that, I keep working towards my goals. I want to play for the natonal team, I want to get my first cap, I want to become the starter for the national team. I want to become the number one for the club and I look forward wherever my career takes me.Thomas Hasal
Hasal is already a known quality in the national team setup: he recorded two clean sheets in five starts for the U-20 side, with the youngster having also been named to Canada’s provisional U-23 Olympic Qualifying roster prior to the tournament’s postponement.
When it comes to domestic goalkeepers fighting to earn their first national team cap, Hasal will face tough competition in Minnesota United’s Dayne St. Clair, who recorded eight clean sheets in thirteen appearances for Minnesota United.
Whatever happens, Hasal looks like he’s ready to bounce back from his injury and improve on his momentous rookie campaign. Still, whether he’s fit enough to warrant a call up to the pending national team camp remains to be seen, though it’s likely that John Herdman has been keeping a close eye on him for some time now.
Hasal had his contract option exercised by the Vancouver Whitecaps this November.
Source: Vancouver Whitecaps (via Twitter)