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Ottawa, ON (March 10, 2020) – Atlético Ottawa has signed its first goalkeeper, announcing the addition of 26-year-old Canadian Ricky Gomes. The Kitchener, Ontario native started playing soccer locally in his hometown when he was four years old. As a teenager, he moved to Portugal, where he played for the Portuguese youth teams of FC Porto, Vitoria Setúbal and Gondomar Sport Club.
Gomes also played for Deportivo la Coruña B in the Spanish fourth division, and he last played for União Madeira in Portugal’s second B division and two year in Scotland at Arbroath FC.
He has represented Canada several times on the international stage. At 18 years old he made his debut in the Canadian youth program in 2012, under then-coach Nick Dasovic, and he was part of the Canadian team that competed at the 2013 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship. He also played for Canada’s under-23 team that participated at the 2015 Pan Am Games, held in Canada.
“We are very happy to have Ricky with us,” said club CEO Fernando Lopez. “He is an incredible goalkeeper with a large international career that will help us to strengthen a key position into our team. We can’t wait to see him on the pitch saving our goal.”
“To say that this is a dream move would be a lie, because I never envisioned Canada having a professional soccer league. Growing up it just wasn’t something you thought about — that’s why I left Canada at 14,” said Gomes. “It’s safe to say that signing for a club owned by Atlético de Madrid in the nation’s capital in the Canadian Premier League is well beyond any of my wildest dreams growing up as a Canadian kid playing soccer.”
“Twelve and a half years ago, nobody would truly believe there was going to be a Canadian Premier League. The growth rate for soccer in Canada is infinite at the moment. When I left Canada, I didn’t really have any other option. Now the younger generation can dream. They can dream of being professional footballers, dream of playing for their favourite teams or even the cities they are from. Antoine Coupland is just the beginning. It’s exciting to finally see our country’s potential develop. I’m honoured to be a part of both Atlético Ottawa, the Canadian Premier League and movement of growing the beautiful game back home.”
Gomes is the sixth player to officially join Atlético Ottawa, joining previous signings Ben Fisk, Antoine Coupland, Malyk Hamilton, Ajay Khabra and Michel Djaozardy.
Atlético Ottawa will begin play on the road against 2019 Champions Forge FC on Saturday, April 18 and will face off against HFX Wanderers at home (TD Place) on Saturday May 16, 2020.
Link to full schedule: Atlético Ottawa
To learn more about the Canadian Premier League’s 8th Club follow @AtletiOttawa on Facebook and Instagram and @Atleti_Ottawa on Twitter.
For information Atlético on tickets for the 2020 season, please visit: https://atleticoottawa.canpl.ca/2020-season-tickets/
Full Name: Ricky Gomes
Birth Date: July 19, 1993
Birthplace: Kitchener, Ontario
Last Club: CF União Madeira