Atletico Ottawa Inks CF Montreal Prospect Gabriel Antinoro
After honing his skills in the CF Montreal Academy system, Gabriel Antinoro is turning professional with Atletico Ottawa.
The 18-year-old central midfielder will arrive to TD Place from Montreal on a two-year deal.
Antinoro, who was born in Brazil, had spent the last two preseason camps with the senior CF Montreal side after proving himself a standout with the academy and the U-23s.
By chance he’d also suited up against Atletico Ottawa before, dinging the crossbar in a preseason match ahead of the 2022 CPL season.
“Gabriel is an exciting young player who was coveted by many teams and we are delighted to have him join our club,” stated Atletico Ottawa CEO Fernando Lopez.
Antinoro was born and raised in Brazil before his family left for Montreal, where former CF Montreal Academy coach Patrick Leduc described him as one with potential – though it remained to be seen how the fast, agile Brazilian-Canadian would adapt to the physical nature of North American football.
Evidently, he’s adapting well.
“Antinoro is a player that we have been following since last season,” added head coach Carlos Gonzalez. “He is fast, technically gifted, and performs well both in reduced spaces and running in behind.”
The gaffer, who won coach of the year last season, also notes that the Brazilian-born midfielder has already shown the ability to adapt to new environment and perform at a high level, suggesting a high ceiling for the youngster.
The teenage midfielder also joined the Bologna U-18 side for an international youth cup in Italy last year, registering one goal in four assists as the team reached the quarter-final stage of the tournament.
While born in Brazil, he has his Canadian papers and qualifies as a domestic athlete. He becomes the club’s third of three required domestic U-21 players on the club’s roster, where he’s placed alongside CF Montreal loanee Jean-Aniel Assi and the returning Zachary Roy.
Antinoro joins Atletico Ottawa on a straight two-year deal ahead of the 2023 CPL season.