Atletico Ottawa Re-Signs Trio Of Ingham, Zapater, Walker
Just three days after Atletico Ottawa published their end-of-season roster update, the club has confirmed the retention of three more players, though one of them was already expected back.
Teased by Club President Fernando Lopez early this morning, the capital city club has negotiated new two-year deals for top CPL goalkeeper Nathan Ingham and young defender Tyr Walker, while former Real Zaragoza captain Alberto Zapater has accepted terms on his automatically-triggered extension offer.
Having proven to be one of the top goalkeepers in the league for five years running, there were big question marks on whether Nathan Ingham would return. He had touted that he was ready for a higher level just months ago, and his return likely commands one of the large wage bills for a ‘keeper in the CPL.
“Nate is an important part of our team and it was crucial we brought him back this season,” added club boss Carlos Gonzalez. “He is an important voice on the field and put up some of his best performances following his return from injury. I look forward to seeing the impact he will continue to have on this team next season and beyond.”
The 2023 CPL season saw Ingham collect seven clean sheets in 22 matches as he continued to be a consistent performer in the league and a crucial element of their backline. Now set for his third and fourth seasons in the nation’s capital, he’ll play a big role in whether the team can push itself back into a playoff position next year.
After Russell, Ontario’s own Tyr Walker stepped into the Atletico Ottawa scene this year, the former U SPORTS defender has now put pen to paper on a brand new two-year deal with the side after making five appearances in his rookie campaign.
The 20-year-old defender first sprung up during the club’s preseason camp in Spain, scoring against UD San Sebastian de los Reyes before joining on a U SPORTS deal. He agreed to remain with the club beyond his U SPORTS eligibility deadline, a gamble that now sees him rewarded with a two-year deal.
Former Real Zaragoza captain Alberto Zapater proved to be a resolute midseason addition for the club, and it didn’t take him long to meet his appearance clause for a contract extension offer. He has accepted the terms of the deal, with the 38-year-old now set for a full season in the nation’s capital.
“Alberto was one of, if not the biggest, signing in Canadian Premier League history,” said Lopez. “It is clear that he quickly became a critical part of our 2023 squad, so we were more than happy when he guaranteed his own future with the club.”
“He sets a high standard as an experienced professional within our locker room, and continues to show his abilities on the field. We look forward to seeing the impact he will make in his first full season in Ottawa.”
The club parted ways with out-of-contract players MacDonald Niba and Sean Melvin earlier this week, though it still has until December 31 to decide whether to keep Zachary Roy, Miguel Acosta, Zachary Verhoven, or Malcolm Shaw for another season. Veteran defender Maxim Tissot is also out of contract.
The club is expected to release further roster updates in the near future.