Morelli To Miss First Half Of CPL Season
The Halifax Wanderers have confirmed that star forward Joao Morelli will miss the first half of the season.
The 26-year-old will remain in Brazil as he recovers from a knee operation performed in June last year after suffering a serious anterior cruciate ligament injury against Atletico Ottawa months before that.
As per league roster regulations, he will not yet count as part of the club’s salary cap given the length of his injury.
The Brazilian maestro had opened the club’s scoring last year and had an astounding 20 goals in 34 appearances for Halifax at the time of his season-ending injury last April.
Morelli joined the club in 2020 and led the side’s scoring charts in 2021, scoring half of Halifax’s goals en route to golden boot and CPL MVP awards, with a contract extension quickly being signed following a fourteen goal haul.
However, the Patrice Gheisar era will need to start without the fast-footed attacker, with the club still unable to confirm a more firm estimate for his return.
The new gaffer seeks to implement a attacking, front-footed mentality that would be well-suited to Morelli, with Brazilian-born Tiago Coimbra joining the side this year.
The club has also confirmed that midfielder Aidan Daniels will now don the number ten shirt previously worn by Morelli, who will need a new number when (or if, perhaps) he arrives later this year.
”We’ve built our roster so that we were prepared for this scenario and look forward to the possibility of Joao rejoining the squad when the time is right,” said Sporting Director Matt Fegan.
Given that Joao’s return is listed as a ‘possibility’, there appear to be a lot of question marks surrounding the former CPL MVP’s return.