On January 13, 2022, Atlético Ottawa announced which players will be returning to the team for the upcoming season. In total Atlético Ottawa is bringing back seven players, with five of those players earning contract options. 

Who is coming back: 

Malcolm Shaw

Shaw has been extended for two years with an option for 2024. The Capital City Supporter’s Group and Bytown Boys player of the year finished the season with 10 goals in 28 games and quickly became a fan favourite. He is a key piece that ATO has done well to secure for multiple years. 

Zach Verhoven

Verhoven has been extended for two years plus an option for 2024 and it is a well-deserved extension. Verhoven played a massive part in Ottawa’s attacking game last season. He was able to unlock channels using his pace and although he only had five assists to his name, many more goals were created through his brilliant play. On the defensive side, Verhoven was a solid defender who had 43 tackles won in 45 games played. 

Brian Wright

Shaw’s attacking partner in crime Wright, will also be returning as Ottawa exercised his 2022 contract option. Wright will also have a one-year option in 2023. He was Ottawa’s second-best goal scorer with six goals in 23 CPL appearances. 

Drew Beckie

Beckie will once again be part of the defensive line in the upcoming 2022 season as Atlético Ottawa chose to bring him back while adding an additional option year in 2023. After suffering a serious health scare, Beckie returned and established himself as an anchor in the defensive line. A real leader on and off the pitch, he is an automatic captain candidate for Ottawa. 

Chris Mannella

Mannella, who had a year left on his contract, returns for the 2022 season. Mannella struggled with injuries throughout the season and found it difficult to get a tempo going. However, when healthy, Mannella brings experience and composure to the midfield and will be a great asset to the new Head Coach. 

Miguel Acosta

The only Spaniard to return is Miguel Acosta, who signed a two-year contract extension with an option for 2024. Acosta played a total of 2,430 minutes which is the most for any Ottawa player this past season. While admittedly having a slow start, Acosta exponentially got better as the games went along and became a key piece in Ottawa’s backline. Securing Acosta for two years solidifies that position for the next couple of seasons. 

Ben McKendry

McKendry is quietly one of the best CDM’s in the league. The Vancouver-native has been with the club since the beginning and hasn’t failed to impress. He provides offensive and defensive skills, leading the team with passes completed with 1,197 and being one of the league’s top tacklers. He has been extended for one more year. 

PlayerUnder Contract Until (End of)Player Option
Malcolm Shaw20232024
Zach Verhoven20232024
Miguel Acosta20232024
Drew Beckie20222023
Brian Wright20222023
Chris Mannella 2022N/A
Ben McKendry2022 N/A

Who is leaving:

Atlético Ottawa has opted not to exercise the contract options for Matthew Arnone, Shawn Claud Lawson, Viti Martinez, Dylon Powley, Tevin Shaw, Ryan Telfer and Raul Uche.

Milovan Kapor, Vashon Neufville, Myles Cornwall and Antoine Coupland all saw their contracts end.  

Nyal Higgins (Toronto FC), Keesean Ferdinand (CF Montreal), Rafael Núñez and Alberto Soto (Atlético de Madrid) also returned to their clubs at the end of the loan agreement, and development contracts offered to Jaeden Mercure and Mamadou Ba concluded with the 2021 season.

The club has said that “discussions remain ongoing with several other players that were in the club in 2021”. Some of these players who haven’t appeared on this list are Brandon John and Obadal. 

What’s next

This roster announcement leaves Atlético Ottawa with three defenders, two midfielders and two forwards. The CPL USports Draft is an opportunity for Ottawa to use their two picks to help fill positions and with a Head Coach announcement expected in the coming week, this new coach will have their work cut out for them. 

Author

  • Huge sports fan in general and university student. Started this blog back in high school with Cam Chaddad! Teams I cheer for outside of Ottawa are the Arizona Coyotes (Shhhhh), Arsenal FC (#KroenkeOut) and the New England Patriots (6 rings baby). My so called main expertise is on the Sens and Fury so you will see me tweeting a bunch about them on @613_Sports. I'm always looking to improve this blog so feel free to shoot me advice and tips.

By Eddie Benhin

Huge sports fan in general and university student. Started this blog back in high school with Cam Chaddad! Teams I cheer for outside of Ottawa are the Arizona Coyotes (Shhhhh), Arsenal FC (#KroenkeOut) and the New England Patriots (6 rings baby). My so called main expertise is on the Sens and Fury so you will see me tweeting a bunch about them on @613_Sports. I'm always looking to improve this blog so feel free to shoot me advice and tips.

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