Today Atlético Ottawa announced the signing of former Canadian International and Ottawa Fury captain Carl Haworth on a two-year contract that will see him return to the nation’s capital until the end of 2023.
Yes, Ottawa fans, it’s really happening.
While there had been rumours swirling for quite some time, ranging from reporters spilling beans to real estate agents feeding info that a former Fury player was moving house back to town, nothing can take away the surreal joy of the day finally arriving. Haworth is back where he belongs, and the fans surely can’t wait to welcome him back to TD Place.
Haworth first signed for the original Ottawa Fury (Men’s: 2005-2013, Women’s: 2000-2014) in 2013 and played their final season in the USL Premier Development League. He subsequently signed with the following iteration of the club bearing the same name and played in every one of its NASL and USL campaigns from 2014 until is dissolution in 2019.
He would make 169 appearances and score 27 goals (both club records), winning the 2015 Fall NASL season and booking a trip to the Soccer Bowl along the way (eventually falling to the NY Cosmos). He began captaining the side in 2017 and would do so until the very end.
To call Haworth “Mr. Ottawa Soccer” would be an understatement. Loved by fans and media alike, his ever presence might have lead one to believe he was born here (though he was actually born in Southport, Merseyside and grew up in Barrie.) He brings with him not only a familiarity with the city and its fans, but also some of his “new” teammates with whom he wore the red and black like Chris Mannella, Drew Beckie and Maxim Tissot (not to mention countless others across the league).
In Haworth we have signed a veteran, a leader, and a free kick wizard. Deployed mainly on the right side as a winger or a right back, his deadly pace, magic right foot, and his eye for a killer pass or cross make him a constant threat whenever he is on the pitch. Much like his former teammates mentioned above, this is very far from being a fan-service signing; we have an incredible footballer on our hands.
Did I mention free kick wizard? Because he scored 5 of them in 2019 alone.
Haworth spent the past two years at USL Championship side Indy Eleven, making 15 appearances and scoring one goal. A shortened 2020 season and a few injuries that kept him out for almost the entire 2021 season have limited his competitive playing time since leaving Ottawa. However, much like Macdonald Niba, he surely arrives with the hunger that comes with spending too much time on the sidelines, itching to break into a first team and prove his worth all over again.
Many tears were shed upon his signing announcement to Indy Eleven (even though we didn’t have a club anymore at the time.) Many more will likely be shed today, however for a different reason.
The addition of Haworth brings the Ottleti roster up to 16, leaving room for a further 7 full-contract players to be added with 5 international slots remaining among those. With a severe lack of rumours at the moment, fans will be left speculating wildly about who those players might be. However, the club’s excellent recruitment so far this off-season will surely inspire confidence.
Don’t miss Atlético Ottawa’s home opener against Cavalry FC on April 9th and be sure to check out the CPL website for the rest of our 2022 schedule.