All preseason long, fans of the Vancouver Whitecaps have been wondering where the goals would come from. On Friday afternoon, the ‘Caps front office answered that question emphatically by announcing the signing of French forward Eric Hassli as the team’s first-ever Designated Player.
The move is still pending Hassli’s international transfer certificate, physical and work permit. As per league and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“As we continue our preparation towards our inaugural season in Major League Soccer, we are thrilled to bring in a striker of Eric’s quality,” said Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi in a statement.
The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Hassli comes to the Whitecaps from Swiss Super League side FC Zürich, where he scored 36 goals in 115 matches across all competitions. In the 2008-09 campaign, the Frenchman had 21 goals and 10 assists as Zürich won the league title. Last season, Hassli appeared five times in the UEFA Champions League, scoring one goal in the process.
While at Zürich, Hassli was a teammate of current ‘Caps defender Alain Rochat. He has also spent time in France’s Ligue 1 with Valenciennnes, and prior to that with Zürich’s Swiss league rivals St. Gallen.
The Whitecaps are in action this weekend in the inaugural Cascadia Summit. They play the Portland Timbers on Saturday and Seattle Sounders on Sunday.