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Atletico Ottawa Preseason Mexico 2024

Atletico Ottawa Heads To Mexico For Preseason

By on March 13, 2024 0 943 Views

After spending the last four seasons holding camps in Spain, Atletico Ottawa is changing its preseason destination to Mexico ahead of the 2024 CPL season.

The Canadian club will still enjoy a boost in facility use through its owner Atletico Madrid, who owns Liga MX side Atletico San Luis. That’s where star players Nathan Ingham and Ollie Bassett trained last season, with the full squad now testing their mettle in the training facilities of Mexico’s top flight.

“We spent the last four training camps in Madrid, which were amazing, but we wanted to bring another view of, you know, what is the Atletico universe and all the things that this group does for soccer,” club CEO Fernando Lopez told TSN’s AJ Jakubec, noting that the time difference will be more minimal with preseason camp in Mexico rather than Spain.

Atletico Ottawa will play at least four matches while in San Luis Potosi, facing both the reserve and first teams of host side Atletico San Luis while also facing Liga Expansion opposition during their stay. It’s designed to replicate the competitive and professional environment of the CPL season, tuning up the team ahead of the season opener against York United on April 13.

While the squad travels south with eighteen signed players thus far, Lopez is aiming to bring in three or four more additions ahead of the roster freeze in April. He notes that the club is still in need of locking in a right-back (though he says they’re close), while he’d also like to see a centre-back and another midfielder who can help assist the club’s firepower up top.

“Those are the areas that we are focusing on,” adds Lopez, “and hopefully very, very soon we can share news with everybody.”

While there’s questions aplenty on new players, the club will have three out-of-contract players in camp, with club original Malcolm Shaw fighting for a roster spot alongside midfielder Zach Verhoven and right-back Zachary Roy. CPL-U SPORTS Draft pick Sam Laplante won’t be joining the team, having been released following a three-week trial period. Draft pick Luca Piccioli will be present in camp.

It’s now confirmed that CF Montreal U-23 defender Loic Cloutier will join the team for camp in Mexico after turning heads from sessions in the nation’s capital. The right-footed defender can play across the back, and had captained the CF Montreal U-23 team over the past two seasons while featuring for Canada at the U-20 level.

Atletico Ottawa Carlos Gonzalez
Photo Credit: Atletico Ottawa

“Preseasons are construction periods and our goal is to continue building the team on and off the field,” adds head coach Carlos Gonzalez, who signed a new deal with the club ahead of the season.

“It will be a very important stage in which we will be able to consolidate personal connections with the new additions as well as test the team against top-level opponents in magnificent scenarios. We undoubtedly seek to take advantage of this period of work, in order to be prepared for the beginning of the 2024 season.”

The current Atletico Ottawa roster includes goalkeepers Nathan Ingham and Rayane Yesli, defenders Karl Ouimette, Tyr Walker, Matteo de Brienne, Maxim Tissot, Aboubakary Sacko, Liberman Torres, and Jonathan Grant, midfielders Alberto Zapater, Ollie Bassett, Gabriel Antinore, Kris Twardek, and Abou Sissoko, and forwards Samuel Salter, Ruben del Campo, Ballou Tabla, and Kevin Dos Santos.

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