Atlético Ottawa signs attacking midfielder Osah Bernardinho

Slowly but surely, Atlético Ottawa continues to build its roster ahead of its inaugural Canadian Premier League campaign.

The Ottawa club unveiled Ghanaian Osah Bernardinho as its latest signing on Wednesday, which means it now has 12 players under contract for the 2020 CPL season.

Bernardinho, 23, is an attacking midfielder who can also be deployed as a winger, a trait that coach Mista will no doubt find useful as he continues to put together his initial squad.

Having first played in youth academies and with pro club Accra Great Olympics in his native Ghana, Bernardinho signed with Westerlo in Belgium’s second division in 2017 after going on a trial with Dutch club Willem II earlier that same year.

He made 16 appearances in his first season with Westerlo, scoring once in a Belgian Cup match.

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The following year he went on loan with third-division side ASV Geel, and it was there that he began to come into his own by scoring six goals in 29 league appearances.

Last summer, Bernardinho was on the move again, this time another loan deal with Heist in Belgium’s third tier. He ended up scoring a pair of goals in 14 appearances.

Bernardinho signed with Ottawa after being identified by the CPL’s centralized scouting system of young internationals (age 23 and under), which is run by the league’s soccer operations department and the 21st Club, a world class data and analytics group with offices in London, San Francisco and Singapore.

“We are delighted to present Bernardinho as an Atlético Ottawa player,” club CEO Fernando Lopez said.

“He is a powerful attacking winger that can play in both sidelines of the pitch. He is an athlete, physically very strong, consistent, fast, with good passing abilities, vision and solid dribbling skills. We are sure he will contribute to the team recovering balls, on the creation of plays, exploiting the offensive game and assisting and scoring goals.”

Bernardinho joins previous Atlético Ottawa signings such as Ben Fisk, Antoine Coupland, Malyk Hamilton, and Ajay Khabra.

He is also the club’s fourth international player, alongside English fullback Vashon Neufville, Jamaican midfielder Tevin Shaw, and Mexican veteran Francisco Acuña.