CPL Moves Roundup: Sissoko signs with Atletico Ottawa from Forge

Midfielder Abou Sissoko, who spent the last two seasons with CPL champion Forge FC, has joined Atletico Ottawa on a two-year contract.(CP/HO-Atletico Ottawa-Chris Hue)

Midfielder Abou Sissoko, who spent the last two seasons with CPL champion Forge FC, has joined Atletico Ottawa on a two-year contract.

“Sissoko is a player who fits perfectly with the characteristics we are looking for as a team and that this league demands — energy and box-to-box ability, natural talent and the mentality of a great competitor,” Ottawa coach Carlos Gonzalez said in a statement.

Born in Mali, Sissoko moved to Montreal at the age of 11. He played in Ligue1 Quebec, formerly known as the PLSQ, with CS Longueuil and CS Mont-Royal Outremont before joining the Montreal Carabins.

He helped the Halifax Wanderers in their run to the 2020 CPL Island Games final before moving to Indy Eleven in the United Soccer League where he played alongside Atletico Ottawa defender Karl Ouimette and former-captain Carl Haworth. 

The 28-year-old then joined Forge, making 65 appearances over two seasons with six goals and five assists from his defensive midfielder position. 

“This move brings me closer to my family, to a beautiful city and to play for a team that will be a top contender to win the championship this year,” said Sissoko.

In other CPL news, the Halifax Wanderers have signed veteran Trinidad international forward Ryan Telfer to a contract for the 2024 season with a club option for 2025.

The 29-year-old spent last season in the USL Championship with Miami FC, scoring five goals in 30 matches.

Telfer, then with York United, scored the first goal in CPL history on April 27, 2019, in the league’s inaugural match between York and Forge FC. He played from 2019 to 2021 with York and Atletico Ottawa with 11 goals in 49 career CPL matches.

“He’s a left-footer that has loads of experience against tough opposition playing in some big games for club and country and has developed into a leader over the years.” Halifax coach Patrice Gheisar said.

Telfer signed with Toronto FC 2 in May 2017 after two seasons at York University. He signed a first-team contract with TFC in April 2018, making a total of 15 league appearances in 2018 and ’19 — and turned heads in his fourth start when he scored the winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Orlando City SC with a left-footed volley off a long-distance cross from Brazilian fullback Auro.

Telfer subsequently signed with Columbus Crew 2, helping the team win the MLS Next Pro title in 2022.

Born in Mississauga, Ont., to parents from Trinidad and Tobago, Telfer grew up in Chaguanas in central Trinidad but regularly visited family here. He moved to Canada for school when he was 17.

He was called up by Trinidad and Tobago in September 2019 and made his international debut in a CONCACAF Nations League match against Martinique.

In 28 appearances for his country, Telfer has nine goals and six assists. Telfer and Wanderers captain Andre Rampersad both played in Trinidad and Tobago’s 2-1 victory over the U.S. in November. 

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