Atlético Ottawa has signed Spanish-Dominican winger Rafael Núñez on loan from parent club Atlético Madrid for the duration of the 2021 CPL season, the club announced Thursday. The 19-year-old Bonao, Dominican Republic native joins Ottawa from the Colchoneros academy where he’s played since 2015, most recently suiting up for the Atlético de Madrid U19 side. Núñez is no stranger to North America having represented the Dominican Republic in Concacaf Olympic Qualifying in Mexico back in March. "Rafael is a very fast and versatile young player; he has a lot of experience through his career so far playing in the most competitive national existing league for his age in Madrid," said Atlético Ottawa head coach Mista. "He will surely help us increase the level of the team and contribute to achieving the goals established by our club."
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"I have never been to Canada, so I am excited to come to the capital and meet the fans. As a young player I am looking forward to getting some professional experience in Canada’s top league," said Atlético Ottawa midfielder Rafael Núñez. "I can’t wait to play in front of the fans at TD Place." Ottawa has been busy with domestic recruitment in landing Ryan Telfer and Chris Mannella while also acquiring Drew Beckie among a slew of other fresh faces in the offseason. Much like the supporters and his new teammates, Atlético’s latest signing eagerly awaits the 2021 CPL season as well as the eventual return of fans at home in Ottawa. Núñez is Atlético Ottawa’s 21st signing for the 2021 CPL season, joining Viti Martinez and Miguel Acosta as the third Spanish player in the squad and first from the parent club in Madrid.