Atletico Ottawa has confirmed the signing of Canadian Jean-Aniel Assi on loan from MLS side CF Montreal. Assi will be a familiar name to CPL fans as the forward spent last season on loan at Cavalry FC. According to CF Montreal’s press release, the club can recall Assi at any point during his loan. Additionally, Assi has signed a new contract with Montreal that has added an option to extend his deal until 2025.
Jean Aniel-Assi Returns for Second CPL Stint at Just 18-Years Old
The Canadian U-20 International is Set for his Second Full Professional Season
Born in Cote d’Ivoire, Jean-Aniel Assi moved to Montreal at the age of ten and joined CF Montreal’s academy at age 13. Assi has become a prospect to watch for the club. Notably, Assi featured for Canada at the U15 CONCAF Championship in 2019 scoring four goals in five matches en route to a shock win over Mexico in the knockouts. In 2020, Assi made history for CF Montreal becoming the youngest player ever to make a senior appearance. He made his debut in the CONCACAF Champions League against Honduran side Club Deportivo Olimpia.
Jean-Aniel Assi with Cavalry FC last season became a versatile player, featuring up and down the right side of the field. He recorded two assists in 18 Canadian Premier League matches last season. He played in both the clubs’ Canadian Championship matches including a start versus against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
We’re thrilled to announce the signing of Canadian winger Jean-Aniel Assi on a season-long loan from MLS side @cfmontreal.
— Atlético Ottawa (@atletiOttawa) February 15, 2023
Jean-Aniel Assi Will Hope to Continue the Trend of CF Montreal Players Succeeding in the CPL
CF Montreal does not have an MLSNP team and consequently has its academy players play in the PLSQ. To help develop their players, multiple have made their way to the CPL in recent memory. Notably former CPL Goalkeeper of the year Jonathan Sirous and Sean Rea who won CPL U21 Player of the Year. Both of these players look set to earn some potentially valuable minutes this season for Montreal and Assi will be looking to follow suit in the future. Assi is the second player in Atletico’s short history to come on loan from CF Montreal with Keesean Ferdinand being the other.
What Jean-Aniel Assi can bring to the table for Ottawa is the ability to beat defenders one on one. As previously mentioned the player can be a very versatile option which definitely enticed Ottawa to make the loan. What also likely pushed Ottawa to bring him Assi in is to help reach the U21 minutes requirement. Zakaria Bahous who contributed to a bulk of the club’s U21 minutes last season has aged out. Assi joins fullback Zachary Roy as the only other eligible U21 player for Ottawa. The club does have multiple players on trial such as Omar Darwish, Jaeden Mercure, Mohamed Bouzidi (USPORTS), and Junior Agyekum (USPORTS) who are under 21.
Jean-Aniel Assi is the third player to join Atletico Ottawa this season. Karl Ouimette joined last month marking a return to Canada for the defender and Noah Verhoeven signed from York United. The club has since added Samuel Salter to the club’s arsenal as well.
Photo Credit: Canadian Premier League