HALIFAX — HFX Wanderers FC have signed Montreal-born Haiti international defender Jems Geffrard.

The 25-year-old centre back has represented Haiti 16 times and was a member of the 2019 Gold Cup team that defeated Canada 3-2 in the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF championship.

Geffrard began his career with the Montreal Impact academy at 17 and spent four years there before signing with FC Montreal, the Impact's reserve team in the United Soccer League, in 2015.

He played in Finland for Ekenas IF in 2017 and Rovaniemen Palloseura in 2018 before returning to North America in 2019 to play for Fresno FC in the USL Championship.

"I've heard great things about Halifax," Geffrard said in a release. "People have told me it's the best city in the Canadian Premier League because the crowd and the fans are amazing and the pitch is beautiful."

The six-foot-three Geffrard qualifies to play for Haiti through his parents, who were both born there.

"He's a player that can bring his experience to the backline and to the dressing room. He has been outstanding for Haiti and he looks the part," said Wanderers coach Stephen Hart.

Geffrard is the sixth former Impact academy player to join the Wanderers 2020 squad.

Geffrard's brings the Wanderers roster to 19, including the team’s two U-Sports draft picks. The CPL team opens camp in March.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 18, 2020.