Atlético Ottawa signs centre-back Drew Beckie

Atlético Ottawa announced another addition to their backline on Tuesday, with the signing of Canadian centre-back Drew Beckie.

Beckie, 30, was most recently with USL Championship side El Paso Locomotive FC, and made 21 league appearances for them over two seasons.

Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Beckie is returning to Canada after previously playing 44 times for the Ottawa Fury over two stints – first in 2012, and then again from 2014-2015, on either side of a year with the Columbus Crew.

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After a college career at the University of Denver he was drafted by the Crew in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft but never made a first-team appearance before heading back north of the border. After a couple of seasons with the Fury, he played in the NASL with the Carolina Railhawks and Jacksonville Armada.

After leaving Jacksonville in 2018 to train with KuPS FC, a Finnish First Division side, Beckie contracted a serious virus that nearly ended his professional career. After months of recovery, he returned to the pitch with Oklahoma City Energy, where he spent two seasons before moving to El Paso.

As a youth player, he trained with German clubs Eintracht Frankfurt and 1860 Munich.

“Drew is a leader on and off the field,” said Fernando Lopez, CEO of Atlético Ottawa in a statement. “He has been a professional for many years and will be very familiar to many of the fans in Ottawa. We look forward to bringing him home to Canada and back to the city where he was embraced at the start of his professional career.”

Beckie is also excited to be back in the nation’s capital.

“It is really special to have the opportunity to return to Ottawa at this point in my career,” he said in a statement. “It is exciting to be part of a project with the backing of a powerhouse like Atlético de Madrid. I have very fond memories of my times in Ottawa. I am excited to bring my experience to this club and be an example for what young Canadian players can achieve.”

His sister is Canadian women’s national team star Janine Beckie, and like Janine, he has worn the maple leaf on several occasions. Drew has made 11 appearances for the Canadian youth national teams, between the U17s, U20s, and U23s.

Beckie is the 19th player announced by Atlético Ottawa for the 2021 CPL season, and the 10th newcomer. He joins Shawn-Claud Lawson, Brian Wright, Teodor Obadal, Dylon Powley, Ryan Telfer, Zach Verhoven, Jordan Webb, Chris Mannella, and Keesean Ferdinand as new signings this offseason.