Langwa: ‘I’ve Reached Out To Every CPL Team’
As the 2021 Canadian Premier League season approaches, Ndzemdzela ‘Zoom’ Langwa isn’t a free agent by lack of trying: speaking with Northern Tribune, the 22-year-old left-back states that he’s personally reached out to every CPL team without getting any interest back.
The Ottawa-born defender took part in the inaugural Canadian Premier League season, making 24 appearances for the Halifax Wanderers across all competitions. Unfortunately, the former Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps, and Ottawa Fury academy product has since seen his career stymied by sideline drama, which he attributes as the root cause of his current roadblock.
Speaking regarding a prospective return to the Canadian Premier League, the defender describes his current situation as akin to being on a proverbial ‘CPL-wide blacklist’ likely stemming from an altercation he had with Matthew Arnone and Stephen Hart following a 2-3 loss to the Ottawa Fury in the Canadian Championship. When heated words nearly turned physical, Langwa saw himself fined $1,000, excluded from a six match road stretch, and receiving limited game time after that.
Following the breakdown in his relationship with Hart, it wasn’t surprising to see him listed as one of the sixteen released inaugural squad members at the end of the campaign, though he still thanked Hart for the opportunity. The arrival of expansion side Atletico Ottawa last year appeared to be a timely match made in heaven, and he seemed close to signing for the side before the transfer was nixed late into discussions.
I met with him at the Ottawa expansion announcement. He had actually met with the coaching staff of Ottawa, everything looked to be on track and then for some reason he wasn’t signed.Kurt Larson
While the other teams prepared for a shortened season in Charlottetown, Langwa found his summer based around trials with three sides of varying statures across Europe: Romanian second division side Pandurri, Spanish fourth division side Alhaurin de la Torre CF, and Bundesliga side Schalke 04, where he played a full scrimmage against several members of the first team.
The Ottawa-born defender’s potential return has come up in many discussions among CPL fans, though it remains to be seen if the 22-year-old will find himself returning to the domestic professional competition. This summer, the sideline drama continued after he threw public criticism at Atletico Ottawa during The Island Games, which didn’t go unnoticed by media:
Given that Langwa trialed actively in Europe last summer, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him trek out to trial for another prospective move this year. His professional playing career actually gots its start in Italy with Serie C side Triestina, which was followed by a loan to U.S. Palmese 1912 in Serie D after that, and then a season with Spanish fourth tier side UD Socuellamos before he joined the Wanderers.
Whatever happens, it remains to be seen what’s next for Langwa: he’s a proven talent hungry to return to the professional game, though where his next step will unfold remains unclear. The inaugural Wanderers squads averaged 1.8 goals against without him on the pitch in 2019 versus 1.08 with him on it, though that figure is skewed by the club’s 6-2 loss against York United which took place without him.
While Langwa remains open for an opportunity with a CPL club and states that he has reached out to all eight teams already, a return to the Canadian Premier League seems very unlikely based on past events and his own description.
The Wanderers proved a lot of doubters wrong themselves at this year’s Island Games, reaching the CPL Final before being dispatched 2-0 by two-time champions Forge FC. The club has retained most of its core roster from the bubble tournament, with Hart bringing in new additions like Morey Doner, Jeremy Gagnon Lapare, and local Haligonian Kieran Baskett.
Langwa, meanwhile, has founded a footballing group called the Ottawa Selects to help local talent progress at a high level. The initiative has seen some high-profile off-season training additions with the likes of Chrisnovic N’sa, Zachary Sukunda, and FISU University World Cup winner Miranda Smith.