Completing Atlético Ottawa’s roster via Football Manager 20

We’re impatient.

As we self-isolate due to the COVID-19 crisis in Canada, many things have been put on hold.

That includes Atlético Ottawa. The Canadian Premier League’s first expansion side has put a hold on new signings as CPL sides observe a league-wide pre-season suspension.

RELATED READING: CPL pre-season roster tracker: How each team is shaping up

But because we’re so impatient, we’ve decided to take a stab at putting together Atlético Ottawa’s final roster via a Football Manager 20, adding to the seven players the club has inked thus far.

Here’s a breakdown.

To use Atlético Ottawa in Football Manager, download and add Edward Hon-Sing Wong’s Canadian Megapatch 2020.

To view the squad, either click here or click the image below.

Screen Shot 2020-03-17 at 2.10.58 PM’s completed Atlético Ottawa squad using Football Manager 20.

The Parameters

Let’s set some ground rules.

To make selections easier, we’ve decided to model Atlético Ottawa’s tactics on those of Atlético de Madrid: two-way fullbacks, a 4-4-1-1 formation featuring a second striker, rough defenders, and wily counter attackers.

Also, if we’re being accurate, we should include some Spanish players… or at least Atlético de Madrid-tied options to sign and add.

Finally, let’s not forget about the under-21 rule in the CPL.

Released CPL players make up bulk of squad

Daniel Gogarty of York9 FC was selected in last year's CPL-U SPORTS Draft. (Photo: CPL).
Daniel Gogarty of York9 FC was selected in last year’s CPL-U SPORTS Draft. (Photo: CPL).

As expected, this fictitious Ottawa team features a good number of CPLers.

Goalkeeper Quillan Roberts (Forge FC), defenders Chakib Hocine and Zela Langwa (both HFX Wanderers FC), Daniel Gogarty (York9 FC) and James Marcelin (FC Edmonton), and attacker Tomasz Skublak (HFX Wanderers) were added alongside real-life signings Ben Fisk, Ajay Khabra, and Malyk Hamilton to make up eight players with CPL experience.

I feel this is a pretty realistic  list. Only a handful of the 50-odd players released in Year 1 made sense for Ottawa, especially considering how many were international or local players.

Plus, many didn’t fit the counter-attacking style I wanted. Langwa, Hocine, and Gogarty, for example, fit their roles well in-game.

Spanish contingent small but mighty

Ottawa must, I repeat, must have some Spanish and Spanish-speaking talent ready once this pre-season lockdown has ended. Without any, you know, real ties to Atlético de Madrid and Diego Simone (call me back, please) in-game, I searched for any Spanish players who could do a job.

Needless to say, this part won’t be overly accurate.

That leads us to 34-year-old Spanish centre back Marc Torrejón. Coming from Bundesliga side Union Berlin, the Espanyol youth product is in the twilight of his career, but is more than capable of leading this Ottawa side from the back. Thank you, Football Manager’s player search tool.

After attempting to capture Diego Costa on loan from the big team (Diego, please, call me) I moved to the other major team tat Atlético de Madrid owns, Liga MX side Atlético San Luis. There I found young striker Salvador González, a quick-and-slender striker who operates at a similar level to former Valour FC attacker Tyler Attardo.

Focus on the wings

Mo Babouli (Canada Soccer).
Mo Babouli (Canada Soccer).

If we’re modelling Atlético Ottawa on their La Liga owners, we need answers to Joao Felix, Felipe Luis, and Renan Lodi.

Thus, this fictitious side’s true quality is on the wings. Maxim Tissot and Ben Fisk are a dream combo on the left side – two defensively sound, aggressive, and traditional wingers ready to put the work in.

Combos of Kunle Dada-Luke, Michel Djaozandry, Mo Babouli or Mohamed Farsi on the right will use speed and pace to create similar chances, with the experienced Will Johnson mopping up any messes these more inexperienced wingers will make.

Will Johnson: Realistic or fantasy?

Surely the biggest signing in this group – and the first to catch your eye – is Canadian men’s team midfielder Will Johnson.

Question is: Is this an unrealistic expectation for Ottawa supporters? insider Ryan Brandt seems to think so.

I think, however, this isn’t too far off. Sure, the former Orlando City midfielder made $400,000 last season, but Ottawa has every reason to spend big. They only have few players on the books and need to make a big splash.’s FM20 Atlético Ottawa Roster
GK Ricky Gomes Previously signed
GK Quillian Roberts Ex-Forge goalkeeper
DF Chakib Hocine Ex-HFX Wanderers centre-back
DF Marc Torrejon 34-year-old Spanish centre-back
DF Daniel Gogarty Ex-York9 ball-playing centre-back
FB Michel Djaozandry Previously signed
FB/MF Mohammed Farsi Formerly of AS Blainville
FB/MF Zela Langwa Ex-HFX Wanderers fullback
FB Maxim Tissot Ex-Ottawa Fury, Montreal Impact
FB Kunle Dada-Luke Previously signed
MF/DF James Marcelin Ex-FC Edmonton midfielder, experienced
MF Ajay Khabra Previously signed
MF Ben Fisk Previously signed
MF Will Johnson MLS, CanMNT veteran midfielder
MF Ben McKendry Vancouver Whitecaps defensive midfielder
MF Malyk Hamilton Previously signed
MF Henry Mancilla Young Guatemalan winger
MF/FW Mo Babouli Ex-Toronto FC attacker
FW Shaan Hundal Toronto FC II striker (on loan)
FW Tomasz Skublak Ex-HFX Wanderers centre forward
FW Salvador Gonzalez  Atlético San Luis attacker (on loan)