Jeff Rueter of The Athletic announced Thursday that defender Thomas Vancaeyezeele is heading to San Diego. The Loyal confirmed Friday morning.
San Diego Loyal has signed defender Thomas Vancaeyezeele, sources tell The Athletic.
The French Guiana international spent the last three years with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, earning a place on the #USL Team of the Year in 2020 and the 2nd Team in 2019.
— Jeff Rueter (@jeffrueter) December 10, 2020
The former Riverhound earned a spot on the All-USL Second Team in 2019 and then one up’d himself in 2020 by earning spot on the All-USL First Team.
“Thomas is widely known throughout USL as one of the best defenders in the league,” EVP of Soccer Operations and First Team Manager, Landon Donovan said. “When he became available, we jumped at the opportunity to sign him. He is versatile, intelligent and has been a winner everywhere he’s played. We can’t wait to see him on the field for us.”
Vancaeyezeele is a graduate of the University of Charleston, where he won multiple accolades, including the NCAA Division II Player of the Year in 2017. The Charleston Golden Eagles won the NCAA Division II Championship that season as well, so the young defender has a history of winning in his short career.
NCAA Division ll Player of the Year 💪🏼 pic.twitter.com/umMXOMiNk1
— Golden Eagles (@ucwv_athletics) December 20, 2017
In two collegiate seasons from 2016-17, he appeared in 41 matches and scored five goals.
Vancaeyezeele will be reuniting with former teammate Joe Greenspan, who both played together with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in 2018-19. He appeared in 78 matches for the Riverhounds and scored five goals.
“After three seasons with the Riverhounds, I was in need of a new challenge,” Vancaeyezeele said. “San Diego Loyal is not only going to provide that challenge, but with a team of experienced and successful players, I think we’re going to win a championship in the very near future. A championship and Coach Donovan are the reasons why I decided to sign. I can’t wait to get started!”
In September of 2019, Vancaeyezeele was called up to the French Guiana roster against St. Kitts and Nevis. He started and played the entire match in the 2-2 draw. He has appeared in three matches for the country.
Fans, meet Thomas Vancaeyezeele. 😀
You’ll especially love the last 3 seconds. pic.twitter.com/tXWpLt8AY4
— San Diego Loyal (@SanDiegoLoyal) December 11, 2020
Vancaeyezeele marks the ninth player signed through 2021 for the Loyal.
Chris is a graduate of the University of San Diego. He is the former Sports Editor for the USDVista newspaper. Chris is also an athlete and is huge fan of San Diego sports. Chris has covered the San Diego Loyal, and contributes regularly about the Padres.