The Vancouver Whitecaps signed free agent goalkeeper Brad Knighton on Tuesday, pending the receipt of his international transfer certificate.   

The six-foot-two, 195-pound native of Richmond, Va., played every minute for the North American Soccer League Carolina RailHawks last season. He had a 0.94 goals-against average, 113 saves and eight shutouts.   

"Brad is a solid goalkeeper with strong communication and distribution skills, is excellent on crosses, and brings four years of MLS experience," Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie said in a statement.   

Rennie is familiar with Knighton, having coached him in Carolina.   

"Brad had an outstanding season last year with me in Carolina and now I look forward to seeing him provide healthy competition between the posts here in Vancouver," said the Whitecaps coach.   

Knighton, 26, played four seasons in the MLS, starting in 2007 with the New England Revolution where he recorded one win, two defeats, and three draws in six regular-season starts.   

During the 2008 season, Knighton played eight matches on loan with the Portland Timbers, then in the United Soccer League's First Division.   

Knighton was selected by Philadelphia in the 2009 MLS expansion draft. As a member of the first-year MLS club, Knighton recorded three wins, three losses and one draw with a 1.10 GAA in eight starts.   

"I'm delighted to be returning to MLS with Vancouver Whitecaps FC and continuing my career under head coach Martin Rennie," Knighton said in a statement. "I've heard many great things about the club and the city, and I look forward to helping Whitecaps FC have a successful 2012 season."   

Contract terms were not disclosed.   

International transfer certificates are required by FIFA — world soccer's governing body — when a player moves from one association to another. A player may not be registered in the new league without the approval of their former association.