The Wanderers have signed a second goalkeeper for the 2020 season with the addition of former Montreal Impact academy keeper Jason Beaulieu.
The 25-year-old Canadian is a commanding presence between the sticks at 6 ft. 4 in.
His playing background includes an exceptional youth career with the highlight an MVP year, when he backstopped the Impact U 21 team to the Canadian Soccer League final.
Beaulieu signed his first professional deal with Montreal Impact’s senior squad in 2018 and the keeper is now hoping to make his mark in the Canadian Premier League alongside a number of players he already knows well.
“I was excited to come and play with Louis Béland-Goyette, Peter Schaale and Alessandro Riggi and guys from last year’s Wanderers team told me amazing things about Halifax,” Beaulieu said.
He becomes the fifth former Impact academy player to sign for the Wanderers.
Having made Christian Oxner his first off-season signing, coach Stephen Hart has now made sure he has two keepers to push each other during the gruelling travel schedule the CPL season brings.
“He ticked all the boxes, we got good scouting reports about his attitude and professionalism, as well as his goalkeeping qualities,” Hart said. “You want two quality players for each position and I thought he was the right fit.”
Beaulieu has been set on becoming a goalkeeper since the age of 4 when he began to play for his local club FC Boisbriand.
He played there until he was 17 alongside the likes of Canadian national team and Montreal Impact player Samuel Piette.
“It was an amazing team to play for and we won the Quebec elite league three years in a row when I was 15, 16 and 17,” Beaulieu recalls.
While playing for Boisbriand, he joined the Montreal Impact academy as a 16 year old, breaking into the U 21 age group when he was 18.
That was the year he led his team to the Canadian Soccer League final, recording 11 clean sheets during the season, in which he was also named the team’s MVP and defensive player of the year.
Beaulieu then moved to the college level where he played four seasons with the University of New Mexico, appearing in 69 games with a record of 34 wins and a total of 22 clean sheets.
“It was the best decision for me to get my college degree and turn pro after with Montreal,” Beaulieu said.
A return to Montreal Impact happened in January 2018, lifting him to a different level, signing his first professional deal with the MLS team.
That’s where his goalkeeping skills got tested every day in training by top class players at the club, including world star Didier Drogba.
“It was an amazing experience being around incredible players,” he said.
Beaulieu is now looking for a new challenge in his career.
He’s been following the Canadian Premier League since it formed and the chance to be a part of the experience in Halifax alongside a few former teammates was too good to miss.
The keeper is hoping to fight for a starting place in Stephen Hart’s team.
“That was another big part in my decision to be able to get a chance to play, as well as the fact there are a lot of people at the games and there’s a lot of interest in Halifax, so I’m really excited,” he said.
Coach Hart said Beaulieu will work closely with the club’s new goalkeeper coach Jan-Michael Williams to provide stability in a critical position.
“Last year was difficult because Jan got injured and just as he was getting healthy, he was injured again and Christian played some games when he wasn’t 100%, so hopefully we don’t have those problems again,” Hart said.
Jason Beaulieu becomes the Wanderers sixteenth confirmed member of the club for the 2020 season.