March 5, 2024
  • March 5, 2024
Valour FC Rayane Yesli

Yesli And Verhoeven Feature In Big Valour and Atletico Ottawa Trade

By on February 9, 2024 0 1439 Views

In one of the offseason’s biggest twists, Valour FC has sent its starting goalkeeper Rayane Yesli to Atletico Ottawa, who in turn have sent midfielder Noah Verhoeven on loan the other way, with Valour also bringing in 32-year-old goalkeeper Jonathan Viscosi.

Valour has been ploughing ahead with a significant roster rebuild following their dead-last finish last season, though Yesli had done well enough to earn a golden glove nomination before his surprise transfer to the nation’s capital. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“I’m really happy to be here,” revealed Yesli on the move. “I felt like this was the best step for my career, because based on the project that Fernando and the coaching staff showed me, we have the same objectives this year, which is to win, to win as many games as we can and to win the league.”

The 24-year-old will face stiff competition in Nathan Ingham, who has been the number one goalkeeper in all of his five Canadian Premier League seasons. Yesli arrives after making 35 appearances in Winnipeg, making the second-most saves league-wide last year.

“This is what I wanted, to be in an organization that had that as a main goal. I feel like a different coaching staff and a city closer to home is something that’s going to help me to grow,” adds Montreal-born Yesli, who has signed one for the 2024 CPL season with a club option for a further year.

Photo Credit: John Jacques

The move sees midfielder Noah Verhoeven head to Winnipeg on a season-long loan just minutes after it was announced he had renewed terms with Ottawa through to 2025.

This will be his fourth CPL club, having accrued 111 CPL appearances through his time with Pacific, York United, and Atletico Ottawa. He will rejoin former Nine Stripes defender Tass Mourdoukoutas in Manitoba.

“He’s a player that has quality on the ball. He’s a player that allows the team to be on the ball and we like his work ethic,” says Valour boss Philip Dos Santos, who believes Verhoeven brings an element the club had lacked last year.

“That left foot in set play delivery with the addition of a player like Themi [Antonoglou], I think we gain two very strong players in that front. For us, it was important to look at the departure of a player like Gutierrez, and it is not easy to replace him with a good domestic player.”

The club also brought in a veteran goalkeeper in Jonathan Viscosi, a 32-year-old Canadian hungry for minutes following his time with Finnish top flight side VPS, who will need to carry heigh expectations in replacing the big frame of Rayane Yesli.

Valour has faith he can, signing the veteran to a multi-year deal following ten seasons spent playing abroad.

“The truth is that we also saw the opportunity of adding a bit of leadership and experience to our lineup, and that’s what Jonathan is,” explains Dos Santos. “He’s a very vocal, very commanding goalkeeper, he likes to control his box well. I think that he’s a good shot-stopper, he’s a little bit more pragmatic with his feet, he’s someone that minimizes risks and I like that side of him.”

With fan patience waning – and attendance still not up to it’s 2019 figures – this will be a big make-it-or-break it season for Philip Dos Santos and his much transformed roster.

For Atletico Ottawa, securing Yesli seems another coup in an offseason that has already seen them land Valour star Matteo de Brienne.

Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques

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