Hassli becomes Whitecaps FC's first DP

Matt Bilbey, EA Sports Vice President and General Manager of Soccer and Paul Barber, Chief...

Matt Bilbey, EA Sports Vice President and General Manager of Soccer and Paul Barber, Chief Executive Officer, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, announce EA Sports will be a Whitecaps FC founding partner and official video game partner during a press conference in November 2010. (CARMINE MARINELLI/QMI AGENCY)

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 1:19 PM ET

Vancouver Whitecaps FC has signed French striker Eric Hassli as the club's first Designated Player, pending receipt of his international transfer certificate, work permit and the results of his physical.

"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," Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi said. "There are three types of Designated Players - the marquee name, a young player with upside, and very good experienced technical players. Eric is very much in the latter category; he's a player who will make an immediate impact and will make us a better team."

Hassli joins Whitecaps FC after spending three-and-a-half seasons with Swiss Super League club FC Zurich, where he was a teammate of Whitecaps FC defender Alain Rochat.

During his time with Zurich, Hassli scored 36 goals in 115 matches, including 21 goals and 10 assists in 34 appearances when FC Zurich won the Swiss Super League title in the 2008-09 season.

The 2009-10 season saw the native of Sarreguemines, France, score four goals in 20 league matches and one goal in five UEFA Champions League appearances. Hassli has scored five goals in 18 appearances with FC Zurich this season, including four goals in his last three games.

"It was important for us to bring in an experienced striker," Whitecaps coach Teitur Thordarson said. "Strikers are a top priority for clubs around the world, and therefore difficult to secure.

"Eric is big, strong, and will give us a physical presence all over the pitch. His addition will complement our team very nicely for the coming season, and I'm very much looking forward to having him in our club."

Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.


Videos

Photos