Ottawa's new soccer team is called Atletico Ottawa
Professional soccer is back in Ottawa, backed by a storied European club.
“I hope we’ll see an Atletico experience with an Ottawa flavour,” said Jeff Hunt, a strategic partner for the club. “It’s a match made in heaven.”
Dignitaries including the Atletico Madrid’s chief executive and Spain’s ambassador to Canada were on hand for the announcement on Tuesday.
Atletico Ottawa will play in the eight-team Canadian Premier League and host games at TD Place starting this season.
The team’s newly-unveiled logo features red and white stripes, a maple leaf and a silhouette of the Peace Tower. Its colours are red, white and blue.
Atletico Madrid is one of Europe’s most successful soccer clubs, winning Spain’s La Liga 10 times, along with a host of other championships.
The club’s international expansion manager, Fernando Lopez, will oversee operations for Atletico Ottawa.
Hunt, a partner with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, which owns the Redblacks and 67s, promised fans would be looped in early on the experience at TD Place.
“We are creating something here from scratch,” he said. “We want the fans to be involved at the very earliest stage. How can we make this the best experience possible?”
The club also announced its first head coach and general manager: Mista, 41, a former Spanish national team forward who played nine games for Toronto FC in 2010.
He also played for several Spanish clubs throughout his career, and was most recently a youth team coach for Madrid-based Rayo Vallecano.
The city’s previous soccer team, Ottawa Fury FC, suspended operations in November after the team wasn’t sanctioned to play in the United Soccer League. The Fury’s franchise rights were then sold to Miami FC in December.
With files from The Canadian Press.February 11, 2020
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