On Tuesday, April 6th, Atlético Ottawa announced their newest signing, Chris Mannella. This signing was rumoured for weeks, so it will not be a surprise to many supporters of the club. However, it is nice to have it finalized finally. Mannella is a familiar face in Ottawa, playing for the Ottawa Fury for two seasons before the club folded. In these two seasons, Mannella had 67 appearances and tallied one assist. Mannella then signed for York in the CPL and had two appearances before suffering an injury.
Mannella will slot into the Central Midfield role and provide defensive stability while being able to start an attack with his sharp passes. His excellent positioning on the field puts him in the right places to block shots and intercept passes, and his technical skills on the ball allows him to transition from defence to offence. Adding Mannella to this roster provides even more competition for an already crowded Atlético Ottawa offence with the likes of McKendry, Viti and other rumoured signings.
If his work on the field isn’t enough to grab the hearts of fans, his work off the field will for sure. During his time with the Fury, Mannella was heavily involved with Playing for Pride, a group of professional players across North America raising money and advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and equality. Mannella actively worked with the Ottawa Fury supporters to promote the cause and, even after the club folded, continued to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and equality. Mannella is the type of character any club would like to have in their locker room, and this signing will allow him to continue relationships that he had started in his previous stint in Ottawa.
“I’m really happy to be back in Ottawa. From day one the fans welcomed me with open arms and supported me every single match. Can’t wait to see some familiar faces in the crowd and hopefully bring a championship to the city for them”.
Chris Mannella is the first confirmed signing from the Soccerway roster leak, which alone doesn’t confirm the leak's validity but does lean towards the leak being accurate. However, only time can tell as Atlético Ottawa slowly but surely announces their final roster for the upcoming season.