Atlético Ottawa & head coach Mista part ways ahead of 2022 CPL season

Atlético Ottawa and head coach Mista have parted ways, the club announced Tuesday, ahead of the 2021 Canadian Premier League season.

Both sides have agreed not to enter into a new agreement for the upcoming Atlético Ottawa campaign, according to Ottawa brass, who will now search for their second head coach in club history.

Mista, who was named Ottawa’s first manager back in February 2020, posted an 8-10-17 record for the capital club across two seasons – the shortened Island Games campaign (2-2-3) and this past 2021 season (6-8-14).

“We would like to thank Mista for believing in this project and helping us set solid roots for Atlético Ottawa in the nation’s capital,” offered Fernando López, Atlético Ottawa CEO. “His willingness to take this responsibility in what we knew would be a difficult first few years is a testament to his character and love of the game. We are thankful for all he has invested in this team and wish him great success in the next chapter of his coaching career.”

Mista, 43, spent most of his playing career in Spain, including a standout stint with Valencia from 2001 to 2006, where he made 142 appearances and scored 40 goals. He won two Spanish league titles during that time and was a member of the 2004 UEFA Cup-winning squad. The talented striker went on to play for Ottawa’s big brother in Atlético Madrid before suiting up for Toronto FC of MLS, his last professional club, in 2010.

“I want to thank Atlético de Madrid for trusting me with the responsibilities of this challenging and exciting project, the players and staff for understanding what we were trying to accomplish, and all Ottawa fans and supporters for believing in us,” commented Mista. “I am proud of what we did during this difficult time, and I know that the club will be successful in years to come.”

Mista’s most recent role before joining Ottawa was as a youth team coach for Rayo Vallecano, a Madrid-based club that last competed in La Liga, Spain’s first division, during the 2018-19 season. He took over that role last June. Prior to that, Mista was a youth team coach at Valencia.

Ottawa is the second CPL club to make a coaching change this off-season with York United swapping Jimmy Brennan for former Cavalry FC assistant Martin Nash last week.