Atlético Ottawa made another addition to its squad on Tuesday as it prepares for the 2021 CPL season, revealing that the team has signed Alberto Soto on loan from parent club Atlético de Madrid. Soto, a 20-year-old native of Málaga, Spain, has been part of the Atleti academy since 2017. He has appeared for various Atlético Madrid youth sides, scoring twice in six games for the U-19 squad that competed in the 2019-20 UEFA Youth League. Most recently, Soto spent the 2020-21 season on loan at CF La Nucía in the Segunda División B, playing 12 times. The attacking midfielder has also represented his country at a youth level, playing five matches for Spain's U-20 side -- scoring one goal. Now, Soto will be coming to Canada to continue his development. "Alberto Soto is a very attack minded player," said Atlético Ottawa CEO Fernando López. "When the ball is at his feet, he has his eye on the goal. He can create chances and put the ball in the net. He will be a strong addition linking our midfield to our forwards. It is special to have another player from the Atlético de Madrid academy loaned to our club."
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The Spaniard is the second player Ottawa has taken on loan from its parent club for 2021. They previously added Spanish-Dominican winger Rafael Núñez, who was a teammate of Soto's for the Atleti youth team. "Soto is technically a very strong player," added Ottawa head coach Mista. "He brings a lot of talent to the team, especially on the attack. To have someone who has been a Spanish youth international is very special for this league and our club. Fans will take notice when he has the ball at his feet." Soto himself added: "I am looking forward to playing in Canada in the top league in the country. Playing in Canada's capital is very special to me. I am grateful to be a part of this club and to continue my journey in the Atlético family." Ottawa now has 22 players officially signed for the 2021 CPL season, with Soto joining as the seventh and final international player on the roster. In addition to his Atlético Madrid teammate Núñez, Soto will join two other Spaniards in Viti Martínez and Miguel Acosta. He will complement a midfield group that also includes Ben McKendry, Chris Mannella, Tevin Shaw, and Osah Bernardinho, among others. Atlético Ottawa's sophomore season will begin with an eight-game stanza in a sequestered environment in Winnipeg with The Kickoff. They'll open proceedings on Saturday, June 26 with a match against FC Edmonton (2 pm ET/1 pm CT, live on OneSoccer).