Joao Morelli Out With Season-Ending Injury
The Halifax Wanderers have confirmed that star midfielder Joao Morelli will miss the remainder of the season after suffering an ACL injury in added time against Atletico Ottawa.
The extent of his injury will be a significant blow to the east coast side: he scored half of the club’s goals last year in a campaign that saw him named both the golden boot winner and CPL MVP, and had opened their scoring this year, too.
Here’s the official statement from the Wanderers:
The Brazilian maestro had recently signed a contract extension following his prolific 2021 campaign, which saw a fourteen goal haul lift the side into a playoff spot that it lost its grip on at the tail end of the campaign.
At the time of his injury, Joao had accrued an astounding 20 goals in 34 appearances for the Wanderers.
The creative midfielder has played a key role under head coach Stephen Hart since arriving in 2020. Once described by Brazil’s Juninho as one to watch for the future, he signed with English Championship side Middlesbrough in 2015, featuring regularly for the U-23 squad before a loan spell in Estonia.
Later landing with League One side Fleetwood Town on a free transfer, Morelli then bounced between Estonia and his native Brazil before landing out east, where he’s proven to be a league-leading attacker at the Canadian Premier League level.
How the Wanderers react to losing out on Morelli remains to be seen: last year saw the club’s goal stream dry up significantly, but this time around the Wanderers have now have midfield talents in Aidan Daniels and MLS SuperDraft pick Mohamed Omar, among others.
We wish Joao Morelli all the best in his recovery.