One of the most promising young Canadian prospects could be featuring in Major League Soccer matches next year.
That's because the Montreal Impact announced on Thursday that they have signed academy product and FC Montreal winger Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla to a two-year MLS Homegrown deal that begins in the 2017 season.
Tabla, 17, is the youngest player to sign with the Impact. Prior to the start of the MLS preseason, he will participate in a 10-day camp with Serie A side Bologna FC in November.
"We are very happy to have finalized the signing of Ballou, a young player who did very well with FC Montreal this past year and showed that he deserved to join the first team," said Impact technical director Adam Braz in a team statement. "He is an exciting attacking player who has strong technical abilities and is able to be creative and dynamic in the final third. We look forward to seeing him evolve and progress with the first team."
Added Tabla: "I'm really happy to sign my first professional contract with the Montreal Impact. I really feel at home in this club. I worked hard to get here. My path at the academy helped me a lot and I was surrounded by a good technical staff."
With FC Montreal in 2016 after two stints in the Montreal Impact youth academy, Tabla scored five goals and dished out five assists in 21 appearances while earning USL Player of the Week honors for the 21st week of the season.
Tabla, who was born in the Ivory Coast, is a Canadian youth international and was named Canadian U-17 Player of the Year in 2014. He has also featured with the Canadian U-20 national team.