Atletico Ottawa Confirms Return Of Head Coach Mista
Yesterday’s Atletico Ottawa teaser for a returning person has now been confirmed: it’s the club’s first-ever head coach, Mista.
Given that the head coach received a coach of the year nomination during the club’s inaugural season after coming one result away from a shock postseason appearance, the news ultimately comes as no surprise – in fact, it’s fair to say most had assumed he was a returning figure by default.
I am extremely glad to extend my contract and to be part of the Atletico Ottawa family the next season. I am excited to take on this responsibility again and keep working hard and humbly, to achieve the goals established by the club. I also want to continue contributing to the personal growth and development of our young Canadian and international players to make our team better in 2021. Finally, I wanted to thank Atletico for giving me the opportunity and the confidence to return to Canada and lead the team on this amazing projectMista
The club finished its time in Charlottetown with two wins, two draws, and three losses, with its first-ever victory coming against Cavalry FC. As the 42-year-old head coach put it, the club was performing well in a strong growth period which provided plenty of fierce competition for the seven inaugural CPL sides.
After our first season, we were happy with how Mista brought the team together in a shortened and overly complicated season. We were counted out by all our peers, but we showed up and played with our heart on display. We are delighted to have Mista back to lead the team as the first and key piece ahead of our 2021 season. We want to reinforce the strong foundations built over this past season and take advantage of all the knowledge and experiences lived to earn our success.Fernando Lopez
In his first-ever English interview ahead of The Island Games, Mista heralded the growth Canadian football in Canada by comparing what he saw in 2020 versus his time with Toronto FC some ten years ago.
The 42-year-old is in the midst of his first top flight head coach role after coaching with the Valencia CF and Rayo Vallecano academies. Prior to that, the former La Liga star plied his trade for the likes of Real Madrid, Valencia, and Atletico Madrid (among others).
Atletico Ottawa has yet to announce any returning (or new) playing roster additions, though it can be expected that team captain Ben Fisk and on-loan midfielder Viti Martinez will return. Fans will be hoping that key players like Francisco Acuna and Vashon Neufville will be back, along with a reduced tendency to pick up red cards.
Of course, it is largely rumoured that former Ottawa Fury midfielder Chris Mannella will be headed back to the nation’s capital, too.
Thus far FC Edmonton has been the only side to change head coaches after The Island Games, with the Alberta-based side appointment Alan Koch as the team’s new gaffer.
It appears Mista’s new contract with Atletico Ottawa is solely for the 2021 Canadian Premier League season.