The Wanderers are excited to kick-off 2020 by announcing the signing of highly-rated Canadian midfield playmaker Louis Béland-Goyette.
The 24-year-old from Pointe-Claire, Quebec became well respected in the Canadian Premier League last season, as a key player for Valour FC.
After a standout season for the Winnipeg club in the league’s first year, Béland-Goyette is determined to make an impact in Halifax.
“The city, the stadium and the fans are wonderful. Halifax is one of the top places you want to play in the league,” said Béland-Goyette.
Wanderers coach Stephen Hart said the signing is a big one for the club, given the qualities Béland-Goyette brings to the team.
“He had a very good season last year and he is clean on the ball. He keeps the ball moving and keeps a team in possession but also has the ability to hit creative passes long and short and I thought that was something we needed,” Hart said.
A talented youngster, Béland-Goyette broke into the Montreal Impact Academy while still in school as a 16 year old.
He signed his first professional contract with the Impact at the age of 18 after playing for the U 18 and U 21 academy teams.
The midfielder also showed he was one of the top young players in the country, earning call ups to Team Canada at the U 18, U 20 and U 23 levels.
An MLS debut would follow in the Impact midfield, before two strong seasons for FC Montreal in the USL, where he racked up 41 appearances and was rewarded for his form by being named team captain.
2017 saw his return to Montreal Impact in MLS but back to back injuries slowed down his progress that year, which led to his move to the Canadian Premier League.
Béland-Goyette joined Valour FC, quickly establishing himself as a smooth ball player who pulled the strings from midfield for his new team.
He made 21 appearances last season scoring one brilliant long range strike which was still rising when it hit the top corner against FC Edmonton.
Several teams were in the hunt for his signature, but once he heard the Wanderers wanted him, he jumped at the chance to come to Halifax.
That’s because of the way he saw the fans get behind the Wanderers as a visiting player with Valour.
“A big part of my decision was what I saw last year. It’s a passionate club with passionate fans and that’s what you want. I hope I can bring success to this club because the fans deserve it, so I hope to bring joy and passion for them,” he said.
Making the transition to Nova Scotia a little easier, Béland-Goyette is also excited to be reunited with former Montreal players Chrisnovic N’sa and Alessandro Riggi.
“I was really happy for Chrisno that he got the chance to play so much and Riggi and I played a lot for FC Montreal together and I love him as an attacking player,” he said.
Béland-Goyette becomes the first player to join the Wanderers from another Canadian Premier League team.
Stephen Hart is pleased to have his flair and experience in the middle of the field.
“Now we have a variety of options in how we can shape the midfield and we have depth and balance,” Hart said. “When we played Valour, I like that he was always available for the ball and he is definitely one of the top midfielders in the league.”
The club’s new midfielder is the twelfth player to be announced as part of the 2020 Wanderers squad.
He joins goalkeeper Christian Oxner, defenders Alex De Carolis, Chrisnovic N’sa and Peter Schaale. Midfielders Scott Firth, Andre Rampersad, Aboubacar Sissoko and Omar Kreim. Forwards Akeem Garcia, Alessandro Riggi and Ibra Sanoh have also signed.
And University prospects Cory Bent and Jake Ruby will battle for spots on Stephen Hart’s squad when training camp gets underway in March.