2021 CPL-U SPORTS Draft: Meet Atlético Ottawa’s selections

Atlético Ottawa took part in its first CPL-U SPORTS Draft Friday, with coach Mista tapping into the Canadian university pathway with two selections – including the second overall pick.

Longtime Carleton University and Ottawa South United centre-back Cristopher Malekos (1st round, 2nd overall) saw his name called second in the Draft by his adopted hometown team, staying in the Ottawa region as one of the top defending prospects on offer.

Mista followed that up with York University defender Reggie Laryea (2nd round, 15th overall), brother of Toronto FC and Canadian men’s national team fullback Richie.

All draft picks are invited to CPL training camp and, if retained by the club, can sign U SPORTS Development Contracts or fully-fledged professional deals, with the former allowing players to keep their university eligibility.

Here are Atlético Ottawa’s two picks at the 2021 CPL-U SPORTS Draft.


Cristopher Malekos (1st round, 2nd overall) – Position: Defender
University: Carleton (4th Year)
Age: 22
Notable former clubs: Ottawa South United

Cristopher Malekos.
Cristopher Malekos.

Carleton and Ottawa South United (PLSQ) standout Cristopher Malekos is selected by Ottawa as one of the best centre-backs eligible in Eastern Canada. The 22-year-old was a key part in the Ravens side that made the 2019 U SPORTS National Championship and earned first-team U SPORTS all-star status the season prior. An aggressive defender, the Saint-Hippolyte, Que. native is a dominant defensive force in the air and quite proficient in tackles.

Reggie Laryea (2nd round, 15th overall) – Position: Defender
University: York (2nd Year)
Age: 22
Notable former clubs: Akron University, Sigma FC

York Lions defender Reggie Laryea (R) takes on the Montreal Carabins in the 2019 U SPORTS Soccer Championship. (Photo: James Hajjar).
York Lions defender Reggie Laryea (R) takes on the Montreal Carabins in the 2019 U SPORTS Soccer Championship. (Photo: James Hajjar).

That’s right – younger brother of former Sigma and current Toronto FC/Canadian men’s national team regular Richie Laryea was drafted 15th overall.

Reggie is a well-known commodity in the Greater Toronto Area, starting with his time with League1 Ontario side Sigma FC. A technically-sound centre-back or defensive midfielder, Laryea is a good one-on-one defender with a solid passing range, something he’s displayed for two seasons at York University. In 2019, Layrea helped the York Lions to the U SPORTS National Championships.

He doesn’t bring too much pace, unlike his brother Reggie, but he does have good defensive awareness for the levels he has played in thus far.