The Vancouver Whitecaps have announced a last minute addition to their roster prior to the MLS season opener game on Sunday. Italian goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi has signed a new one-year contract for 2016 with an option for 2017.
The former Inter Milan youth player arrived in Vancouver ahead of the 2014 season and spent two years with the Blue and White as a trusted goalkeeping back-up for the iron horse otherwise know as David Ousted.
“Paolo is a true professional,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson through a media release. “The boys absolutely love him to bits and we’re confident in his abilities as a goalkeeper. He trains hard, has the right attitude, and is a role model for the younger goalkeepers in our club. We’re happy to have him back.”
— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) March 5, 2016
The Italian saw limited minutes in non-MLS competitions such as the Canadian Championship, the CONCACAF Champions League, and WFC2 throughout his in first two seasons with the club.
“I’m happy to re-sign because I know what we’re building here as players and also as a club,” Tornaghi said. “I will continue to give my all for the fans, staff, and my teammates.”
During the offseason, Tornaghi and the club parted ways as the goalkeeper wanted to search for a new club where he would have the opportunity to play meaningful minutes. Earlier in the year, it was announced that he had return to Vancouver as a “training camp invitee.”
The Vancouver Whitecaps have some very talented young goalkeepers in their system including Spencer Richey and Canadian Marco Carducci. However, the next generation of netminders may not be quite ready to take on the big responsibility of guarding the Whitecaps net if (knock on wood) something was to happen to David Ousted.
This role fits someone like Tornaghi perfectly. He is an MLS veteran, a quality goalkeeper who can get the job done when called upon and is someone who can continue to push his goalkeeping colleagues in training. Tornaghi is beloved by his teammates and a great member of the community. The Italian was the recipient of the 2015 Whitecaps FC Humanitarian of the Year award.