By Patrick Gibson
Photo Credits: Atlético Ottawa
The transfer window hasn't even opened yet, and here is our second signing (though both were rumored in Spanish media for a few weeks). This signing fills another positional need for the boys in stripes. While Atletico Ottawa boasts the joint 3rd most goals for this season, an inability to capitalize on opportunities presented in recent games has frustrated fans. Not to mention that ~42% of the team’s league goals came in one game, the 5-0 victory over Vancouver FC.
Joining him and filling out the other item on the wish list will be former Atletico Madrid youth product Ruben Del Campo. he came to the Atletico Madrid youth system from the Swiss side BSC Young Boys in 2018. He would move on to sign with Portuguese first-division side Familicao in 2020 and make 6 appearances for the senior side in two years. A loan to 4th-tier Spanish side Melilla would follow for the 2021-2022 season, and he scored 10 times in 29 appearances. The 23-year-old is also a former Swiss youth international, earning caps at all age levels from u16 to u20, and is coming off a season with Spanish 3rd division side, San Fernando CD, in the city of Cadiz.
Tallying 4 goals and 2 assists in his first 11 games in the 2022-23 season, Del Campo has shown the ability to get streaky in front of goal, including against Fuenlabrada and UD Sanse, two teams ATO faced in their pre-season tour in Madrid. His contributions came in a variety of ways, being able to finish with his favoured left foot and with his head, but he stands most to benefit from being familiar with the system currently in place. Additionally, reports from those more familiar with the Spanish lower leagues have noted his pace as a key feature of his skill set. Our two current strikers are known more for having their back to goal to set others up in transitionary moments. If it is as reported, a striker with the ability to get in behind the defense will add a much-needed element to the Atletico Ottawa attack.
As he was born in 2000, Del Campo also meets the requirements as an under-23 international to allow Atletico Ottawa to become compliant with the international roster regulations imposed by the Canadian Premier League. Hopefully, this signing will beckon a new era for international strikers in an Atletico Ottawa shirt, as the previous few imports have been unable to perform at the level we anticipated.
With the announcement of this second signing, it’s even more clear that the club is trying to do everything possible to fix the issues that have presented themselves through the first third of the season. Our luck with strikers has been dismal, but it only takes one person to break the streak.
Having joined CCSG in 2022, Patrick started his footie career playing at the age of 4 and began watching the pros around the same time. While the first pro team he supported was Manchester United, as soon as Atlético Ottawa came to town, he was immediately on board. His wealth of footie knowledge has been a constant asset, along with his role as caretaker for Atléti Wikipedia pages.