Atlético Ottawa announce seven* returning players for 2022
CCSG's 2021 Golden Scarf winner Malcolm Shaw is one of seven Atlético Ottawa players returning for the upcoming Canadian Premier League season.
Defender Drew Beckie and striker Brian Wright were both under two year contracts and return this season with an 'option' for the 2023 as well.
Chris Mannella, a well known midfielder in the Capital having played for Fury FC, also returns to complete the second year of his contract having "worked diligently to be fully recovered from his injury".
Fans will also be happy to see the club retain a strong Canadian core at the heart of the squad, with midfielder Ben McKendry returning for a third successive season. Previously labeled as "one of the most intelligent players" he had ever worked with by Mista, McKendry, although not flashy, was instrumental in the heart of the Atlético midfield.
Gold Scarf finalist, Zach Verhoven, is set to put his electric pace on show at TD Place for another two seasons, having penned a deal until 2023, which also includes an additional option for 2024 - interestingly the club call Verhoven a "defender" in their release, giving a hint as to how he is likely set to be used this season.
The first international spot goes to the only returning Spanish player from the 2021 campaign.
Versatile defender Miguel Acosta (who has also signed a two year contract with an addition option) became one of the most dependable players for the Rojiblancos despite a shaky start to life in Canada, playing 2430 minutes in 27 appearances - 300 more than any other teammate.
Much like Acosta, Ottawa-region local boy Antoine Coupland really hit his stride towards the end of the past campaign, and CCSG understands that the club are willing to be flexible with the youngster's future.
The 18-year old is currently on trial in Germany (last pictured in Stuttgart) and should a life changing opportunity to play in Europe arise, Atlético Ottawa won’t stand in his way.
The biggest news however is that the club’s all time top goal scorer, Malcolm Shaw, has penned a new deal to stay in Ottawa until 2023 (2024 option included).
Shaw, who scored 10 goals in 28 matches for the struggling Ottawa-side last year, was subject to a substantial amount of speculation over his future, but Atlético fans will be delighted to see the Pickering-native don the famous red and white again in 2022.
A statement of intent from Atlético who will surely have had to work hard to retain his services.
Returning Players for the 2022 Season
Notable absences on the list are Ryan Telfer and Viti Martinez.
Viti struggled with injuries throughout the season and it would seem that the club have decided to part ways with the Spanish midfielder who had been part of the setup since the club launched in 2020.
Telfer on the other hand struggled to impose himself as the key player Ottawa wanted him to be in 2021, missing a portion of matches due to international duties as well as suspensions.
Despite their departures, both players leave with iconic moments etched into supporters minds.
The next step for Atlético Ottawa will be to appoint a new Head Coach and technical staff, with the club hinting that not further additions will be made prior to that.