Wanderers sign Canadian U-21 midfielder Tomas Giraldo

The Halifax Wanderers have signed Canadian U-21 midfielder Tomas Giraldo to a contract through the 2023 CPL season with club options for 2024 and 2025. Giraldo, 19, joins the Wanderers after his first team contract with MLS side CF Montreal expired.

In 2022, Giraldo was the recipient of the club’s Jason Di Tullio Trophy. Named in honour of the former Montreal player and assistant coach, the trophy is voted on by the squad and awarded to the player who demonstrates the fiery and fighting spirit of Di Tullio.

“Tomas has exceeded at every level that he’s been at with Montreal, and the fact that he got a first-team deal there at a young age speaks volumes about his abilities and mental strength,” Wanderers head coach Patrice Gheisar said. “He’s a midfielder capable of breaking up plays and helping us win possession.”

Born in Medellín, Colombia, Giraldo relocated with his family to Canada at the age of 8. He joined the CF Montreal Academy in 2015 and signed with the first team at the age of 17. After recovering from a foot surgery that ended his 2022 season prematurely, Giraldo is ready to compete for first-team minutes in Halifax.

“I am grateful to the Wanderers for this opportunity, and I can’t wait for the season to start,” Giraldo said. “The last two years were especially difficult for me due to my injuries. This season, I am looking forward to enjoying the game again.”

Capable of playing anywhere in central midfield, Giraldo is also a former Canadian U-20 international. He represented Canada at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil.

Giraldo is the Wanderers’ second U-21 signing ahead of the 2023 season. In December, the club announced the signing of forward Tiago Coimbra.

“Like Tiago, I have no doubt Tomas is going to thrive under the guidance of Patrice and his staff with their track record of developing the future stars of Canada’s Men’s National Team,” sporting director Matt Fegan said. “He’s been unlucky navigating injuries over the last two seasons, but throughout that, he has shown a mental toughness that earned him the respect among first-team peers in Montreal. After a thorough rehab process, he’s ready to kick on with his career, and we have no doubt he’ll be a great addition to our locker room in Halifax.”