Atlético Ottawa completes blockbuster move for CPL star Manny Aparicio

Atlético Ottawa is delighted to announce the signing of highly-coveted Canadian midfielder Manny Aparicio on a two-year contract with an option to extend until the end of the 2026 Canadian Premier League (CPL) season.

Aparicio, 28, moves to the nation’s capital following three exceptional seasons with Pacific FC, where he was crowned CPL Champion in 2021. The Argentina-born midfielder graduated from Toronto FC’s Academy and featured prominently in Canada’s under-20 and under-23 programs. Aparicio made his senior international debut for Canada at 19 years old in a friendly match against Colombia.

“We are thrilled to welcome Manny to Ottawa,” said Fernando López, CEO of Atlético Ottawa. “Manny is a player who has proven to be one of the best players in the Canadian Premier League for years. He was a highly coveted player during this off-season, with interest throughout the CPL, MLS and USL and we are delighted to have seen his eagerness to join our project.”

Atlético Ottawa midfielder Manny Aparicio at TD Place (credit: Chris Hue / Atlético Ottawa)

“I was eager to join Atlético for a few reasons,” said Aparicio. “First and foremost was the project being built for this year, and the project going forward. The fans and support this team receives, the way the club is growing in the local area and being part of the Atlético family, what it means to put on that red and white jersey. It’s special.”

Speaking of his time with the club, Aparicio added: “I’ve been here for a couple of weeks now, and I’m enjoying the work we’ve been putting in. We have a really strong group of players, and the work being done by the staff has been top-class. Playing against top opposition has been a positive challenge, and it’s great to see the group starting to gel together, on and off the field.”

Between 2019 and 2020, Aparicio featured 37 times and was club captain for York United (formerly York9), scoring four goals and providing two assists. Aparicio joined Pacific in 2021 and would play 78 times for the side from Victoria, BC. He scored ten goals and provided 12 assists, including a crucial goal as they defeated MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps in the Canadian Championship in 2021 and an assist in the 2021 CPL playoff semi-final against Cavalry FC. Most recently, Aparicio was named to the CPL Best Eleven and was a Player of the Year nominee in 2023.

“Manu is a player with great qualities, but I would especially highlight his competitive nature, his dynamism and his understanding of the game. He has an infectious positivity to the way he plays the game that affects the whole team,” said Carlos González, Head Coach, Atlético Ottawa. “It is vital to have players in the team with a winning mentality and proven experience in the league, this will increase straight away the performance of the team.”

Aparicio has joined Atlético Ottawa’s pre-season preparations in Mexico. The club is extending its connection with Atlético’s global family with a visit to Liga MX’s Atlético de San Luis. Aparicio will wear his symbolic number (#34) for Ottawa.

Manny Aparicio’s early career
Aparicio was born in Bueno Aires, Argentina, and moved to Toronto, Canada, with his family in 2004. He began his youth soccer career with East York Dragons before switching to Unionville Milliken SC, where the talented youngster was scouted and recruited to the TFC Academy. Four years later, Aparicio signed his first professional contract with Toronto FC in Major League Soccer at 17 years old. He featured three (3) times for Toronto FC Reserves and made 20 appearances for Toronto FC II while having a successful loan spell at former USL side Wilmington Hammerheads. In 2016, Aparicio left Toronto FC and Canada to take the next steps in his career in Spain. He played 61 matches for three teams (Órdenes, Izarra and San Roque) over two years before returning to Canada with York9 in the inaugural season of the Canadian Premier League.