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CPLer Zela Langwa on his future, hometown Atlético Ottawa unveiling
Canadian Premier League

OTTAWA – Of the familiar faces in attendance for Atlético Ottawa’s unveiling Tuesday at TD Place, Zela Langwa’s appearance was of particular interest to soccer supporters in the nation’s capital.

Langwa, 21, is a free agent after leaving HFX Wanderers FC last December, and he is back home in his native Ottawa. Standing amongst the crowd during Atlético Ottawa’s launch event, Langwa watched on as his hometown made its entrance into the Canadian Premier League – with Club Atlético de Madrid bringing soccer back to Ottawa.

The significance of the moment wasn’t lost on Langwa.

“It’s massive for my hometown,” Langwa told CanPL.ca. “To have Atlético Madrid here, one of the world’s biggest clubs, in the city is incredible and great for morale.

“It’s not just about Ottawa, it’s about soccer in Canada developing and this is a big stepping stone.”

Langwa made 19 appearances for the Wanderers in the CPL’s inaugural season, featuring as a pacy fullback. A product of Ottawa Fury, Toronto FC, and Vancouver Whitecaps academies, he sees a bright future for the youth that came in droves to Tuesday’s announcement – already coming close to one of the world’s biggest clubs.

“With the Fury, a lot of people shied away from it,” Langwa said, referring to a renewed connection between Ottawa Valley’s many soccer communities. “This is a fresh start for our city. You have a massive entity coming out of nowhere and it’s a big deal.

“For development, kids being able to see playing for this team and maybe branch off to be that good to go Spain is incredible.”

Atlético Ottawa strategic partner Jeff Hunt, Canadian Premier League commissioner David Clanachan and Club Atlético de Madrid CEO Miguel Ángel Gil Marín. (CPL).
Atlético Ottawa strategic partner Jeff Hunt, Canadian Premier League commissioner David Clanachan and Club Atlético de Madrid CEO Miguel Ángel Gil Marín. (CPL).

Atlético Ottawa has yet to sign players for the 2020 season, but CPL commissioner David Clanachan hinted players would follow “very quickly.”

“From the minute we said ‘go’, Atlético has been looking at players,” Clanachan said, mentioning the league’s soccer staff have tipped the club to out-of-contract Canadians. “I have complete confidence they’ll be able to field a good team.”

“These youth players we saw today are going to have hometown heroes, they will have stars to look up to. That’s extremely important for the development of the game in this country.”

As for his future, Langwa has stayed mum. He landed on CanPL.ca’s shortlist of Ottawa-connected players who could be available, though. Whether he’s one of those hometown heroes or not, Langwa sees the value of the club as a former young player in the Ottawa Valley.

“Ottawa a good option for me but obviously, you need to keep open. We have options in Europe,” Langwa said.

“We’re going to choose the best for me but, I am a kid from Ottawa. I’d love to play here.”

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