Atletico Ottawa Re-Signs Gaffer Carlos Gonzalez For 2024
Canadian Premier League side Atletico Ottawa has announced that head coach Carlos Gonzalez will be returning for a third season.
The 37-year-old Spaniard just wrapped his second season with the side, recording varying results: while year one saw him led the club from worst-to-first as regular season champions and playoff runners-up, the second season saw Ottawa miss playoffs entirely. He finished year two with a 25W-17D-20L overall record.
While the club put forth a season that saw them tally an amount of goals in-line with playoff-clinching sides like Forge and Halifax – and a goals against that would be comparable as well – the results simply didn’t come, with the tail end of the season highlighted by five last-gasp losses that came from conceding in the last moments of the match.
Still, club brass evidently like what they’ve seen from Gonzalez, who will return for a third year since arriving from leading the Kuwait national team. His initial deal ran for two years, with negotiations for the return of the 2021 Coach of the Year evidently having gone well.
“I’m delighted to have reached a new agreement with the club for next season,” said Gonzalez. “I am excited to embrace the responsibility of redirecting this project, to bring more titles to the nation’s capital and give back to our incredible fanbase here in Ottawa. We are all disappointed with last season, but we have identified the elements where we failed, and we are already working on addressing each of those areas for us to become more exciting again.”
His tenure in the nation’s capital has seen the club embrace a playstyle that endures plenty of attack when out-of-possession. While the fluidity of his counters has changed throughout the season, it seems like fans can expect a similar approach for 2024.
There will be questions on what Atletico Ottawa looks like in 2024, particularly with key leadership figures like Nathan Ingham and Maxim Tissot now out-of-contract, while club captain Carl Haworth has retired.
Suffice to say, Gonzalez – who once coached with parent club Atletico Madrid at the youth level – will have his work cut out for him. He is the club’s second-ever head coach, with former Spanish international Mista leading the side from 2020-2021.
With Atletico Ottawa recording an average of nearly 5,000 fans per match this year – up from just over 4,000 in 2022 – clubrunner Fernando Lopez will be hoping Gonzalez can complete another inspired return to form as the side continues to engage its city, drawing in numbers comparable to the USL’s Ottawa Fury days.
Header Image Photo Credit: Tim Austen