Vancouver Whitecaps sign Niko Giantsopoulos to short-term deal amid goalkeeper crisis

The Vancouver Whitecaps have signed goalkeeper Niko Giantsopoulos on a short-term loan from Canadian Premier League side York United to help ease their crisis between the sticks.

Vancouver’s usual first choice, Thomas Hasal, is sidelined with a finger injury and isn’t expected to be fit for another couple of weeks. To make matters worse, Isaac Boehmer and Cody Cropper were both placed in MLS health and safety protocols, ruling them out of Sunday’s trip to Charlotte FC.

That left the Whitecaps with no senior goalkeepers available this weekend, which meant they qualified for Major League Soccer’s Extreme Hardship scheme, which exists when a team has fewer than two goalkeepers available or has less than 16 outfield players available.

Giantsopoulos is expected to arrive in North Carolina on Saturday night and will be available for Sunday’s game before returning to York United, where he’s kept three clean sheets in eight starts across all competitions this season.

“We are very thankful to York, especially Niko, head coach Martin Nash, and general manager Angus McNab,” Whitecaps sporting director Axel Schuster said in a club press release. “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.”

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