Atlético Ottawa was announced as the eighth licensed club in the Canadian Premier League during an event on Tuesday, February 11 at TD Place with Spanish LaLiga giants Atletico de Madrid as the club owner.
Atlético Ottawa have joined the Atleti family. Atlético de Madrid on January 29 reached an agreement for the acquisition of a license in the Canadian Premier League, which has increased the number of participating teams from seven to eight in its second edition and is to begin in April 2020. The new team based in Ottawa unveiled its new name and crest during an event that took place on Tuesday at TD Place.
Atlético de Madrid CEO Miguel Ángel Gil highlighted the importance of the agreement and said, “We’re very excited to be part of a project as beautiful as Atlético Ottawa. We’ll work with the CPL to share our vision of soccer and bring our experience, and also with the other clubs in the competition to help local soccer grow, as well as learning everything that a spectacular country like Canada has to offer. We look forward to connecting with the local community for the development of soccer in the country. We want Ottawa fans to be able to feel proud to belong to the great Atlético de Madrid family and to share our values with them.”
CPL Commissioner David Clanachan also shared his thoughts about the project. “It’s an exciting day for the Canadian Premier League. We’re very excited to welcome Atlético Ottawa as the league’s eighth team. Bringing soccer to Ottawa was a priority for us, and to do so with one of world football’s greatest clubs is a source of pride.”
The event was also attended by other prominent figures such as the Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, the Ambassador of Spain to Canada Enrique Ruiz Molero and Jeff Hunt, a well-known figure in the Canadian sports scene who has supported the development of the project and is shareholder of the Canadian Football League’s Ottawa Redblacks and the Ottawa 67’s in the Ontario Hockey League. Before the event, Jim Watson declared February 11 Atlético Ottawa Day.
Miguel Ángel Ferrer Mista, who played for Atleti in the 2006/07 and 2007/08 seasons, was also unveiled as the team’s coach.
“I’m honored to have been chosen to lead this project. It’s a new challenge that I’m very excited about. We’ve already had the chance to get to know the club’s facilities and the stadium, which is spectacular. It’s time to work hard to put together a team that will compete right away in the Canadian Premier League with humility, effort and determination. I’m lucky enough to have already experienced soccer in Canada. That’s why I’m aware of the passion this sport generates in the fans and that’s one of the reasons why I’ve decided to take on this new adventure. It’s an honor to be the club’s first coach and from this moment on we will work hard to make Atlético Ottawa a team that competes at the highest level from the very beginning,” Mista said.
Atlético Ottawa will play the Canadian Premier League, in which eight teams compete. The team’s stadium will be TD Place, which hosts 28,000 spectators. The 2020 season will begin in April.