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HomeSportsSoccerYukon soccer star Joe Hanson makes history again, signing to Canadian Premier...

Yukon soccer star Joe Hanson makes history again, signing to Canadian Premier League

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Yukon soccer star Joe Hanson is taking his talents to the prairies.

The 20 year-old from Whitehorse has signed with Winnipeg Valour FC of the Canadian Premier League [CPL], becoming the first Yukon-born player to do so.

“[I’m] just happy to know where I’m going to be for the rest of the year, and to have a contract signed,” said Hanson. “I’m very happy with where I’ve landed.”

For Hanson, the signing is a big relief. He’s spent the past few months testing the waters as a free agent, and biding his time in Whitehorse, training with his father Jake.

“Pretty much every day I was home I was getting in a lot of hours with my dad,” said Hanson. “Definitely enjoyed getting to spend some special time with him.”

And while the father-son time was nice, ultimately the goal for Hanson was to find an opportunity to play regular minutes and showcase his skill.

He’ll have that in Winnipeg.

“It was important for me to be in a first team environment,” said Hanson. “I think the CPL will be a good test for me.”

Joe Hanson was born in Whitehorse and grew up playing in the territory. In 2022 he made history when he became the first Yukon soccer player to sign a professional soccer contract. He did so with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC2 team.
Hanson was born in Whitehorse and grew up playing in the territory. In 2022 he also made history when he became the 1st Yukon soccer player to sign a professional soccer contract. He did so with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC2 team. (Sarah Lewis Photography)

Making history on the soccer pitch is nothing new for Hanson. Two years ago, he was the first Yukoner to play professionally in Canada, after inking a deal with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 team.

Now he’s the first Yukoner to play in the CPL.

“It always feels great,” said Hanson. “I’m excited, this can open opportunities in Europe and the States.”

Hanson made 37 appearances for Whitecaps FC 2 over the last two years before becoming a free agent this off-season, and it was Valour FC general manager and head coach Phillip Dos Santos’s previous connection with that organization that ultimately brought the young prospect to Winnipeg.

As for how Hanson will be used by his new team, that’s still unknown.

He’s only just been formally introduced by the team after having spent the past few weeks on a try-out with the squad.

“I see myself as someone that can bring a lot of offence to the team,” said Hanson. “I think I can be a very vital player.”

Joe Hanson (right) spent time at home in Whitehorse training with his father Jake (left) while he waiting on a new deal.
Joe Hanson, right, with his parents, Jake and Sarah Hanson. (George Maratos/ CBC)

Hanson won’t have to wait long to know his role. Valour FC open their season on Saturday, against Vancouver FC.

When Hanson does take to the field, he’ll be wearing his familiar number 16.

It’s the same jersey worn by his mentor — dad Jake.

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