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Atletico Ottawa Ruben Del Campo Rumour

Could Atletico Ottawa Sign Ruben Del Campo?

By on June 15, 2023 0 1636 Views

Atletico Ottawa could be looking to bring in Swiss-Spaniard striker Ruben Del Campo on a free transfer – but a change to the league’s international rules made this year could prove a roadblock.

The capital city club is in need of a positive goal difference and will soon be without striker Malcolm Shaw, who was called up by Trinidad and Tobago ahead of the 2023 Gold Cup.

Currently resting in second-last, last year’s regular season champions will want to turn their form around quickly before gap in league standings grows.

Del Campo is a striker who has shown spurts of promise over in Spain, where his contract with third division side San Fernando CD was recently terminated by mutual consent. The striker had arrived there just this year, sparking a strong start to his campaign in San Fernando by bagging four goals in his first eleven matches before hitting a slump in performances. After going the next 18 matches without a goal, he returned to free agency to seek out his next move.

Spanish journalist Angel Garcia first reported his potential move to Atletico Ottawa, where the 23-year-old striker is reportedly set to reignite his career in CPL pastures.

There is a catch in the potential move: while the maximum number of internationals remains at seven this season and Atletico Ottawa only has six, new CPL roster rules dictate that 50% of a club’s international players must be classified as U-23 (born January 1, 2000 or later), and if a club wants to utilize a seventh, that seventh signed international must be U-21 (born January 1, 2002 or later).

Del Campo makes the cut – just – for an U-23 international, though the roster rules say slot seven needs to be filled by a U-21 instead.

Even so, the arrival of a U-23 international still wouldn’t make the club complaint with the new rule stipulating that 50% of a club’s internationals need to qualify as U-23: Niba, Acosta, Bassett, and Dos Santos all clock in as senior internationals, with just two sub-23 internationals (Espejo and Sacko) currently on the roster.

Given that this means the club isn’t currently roster compliant, it’s unclear whether the new rule has entered active enforcement or if the league is giving clubs a grace period for clubs to pivot.

If the league has opted not to enforce the new age specifics for internationals – including slot seven going to a U-21 player – it would open a door for Del Campo to arrive without any other international being moved outbound.

Addendum: MacDonald Niba is a domestic player through his PR, which means that Del Campo would be allowed under the 50% U-23 roster rule. Now the only question left is whether the seventh slot needs to be U-21, or if – given that the club has two U-21 players already – there is some grace space there.

Del Campo scoring for San Fernando CD earlier this year.

The Swiss-Spaniard striker does have some history with parent club Atletico Madrid: years ago he impressed with the youth ranks of both Switzerland’s BSC Young Boys and Atletico Madrid, progressing up to the Spanish giant’s reserve teams in the 2019 season. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, he inked a deal with Portuguese side FC Famalicao – who also have ownership ties to Atletico Madrid – before jumping clubs to CD Numancia. There, he bagged three goals in 12 matches at the Segunda Division B level.

The striker then moved to UD Melilla last year, where he got regular first team minutes in the Segunda RFEF, entering double-digits on the scoring charts with ten goals in 32 appearances despite being one of the younger striker’s in the league. After the expiry of his contract, he joined San Fernando CD for the 2023 season.

Related – Gonzalez Confident In Ottawa Turnaround: ‘There’s Nothing Major To Correct’

With Atletico Ottawa hungry to climb back up the league table and having a history of using both long-and-short term additions from Spain, it’s clear that Del Campo fits the demographic of internationals the side likes to bring in.

Whether the rumour has merit and whether he actually fits into league roster rules remains to be seen.

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