OTTAWA — Atletico Ottawa has parted ways with Mista, the Canadian Premier League team's inaugural coach.

The Spaniard, whose full name is Miguel Angel Ferrer Martinez, was hired in February 2020 just prior to the pandemic. He was tasked with building an expansion club from the ground up in a short period — and at a time when borders closed and leagues shut down.

Ottawa (2-3-2) finished seventh in the first stage of the Island Games, which served as the league's truncated 2020 season, and was last in the eight-team league last season at 6-14-8.

Mista's contract expires at the end of the year and Atletico, which is owned by Spain's Atletico Madrid, said the two sides had "agreed not to enter into a new agreement for upcoming Atletico Ottawa campaigns."

“We would like to thank Mista for believing in this project and helping us set solid roots for Atletico Ottawa in the nation’s capital,” Atletico Ottawa CEO Fernando Lopez said in a statement. “His willingness to take this responsibility in what we knew would be a difficult first few years is a testament to his character and love of the game. We are thankful for all he has invested in this team and wish him great success in the next chapter of his coaching career.”

Before joining Ottawa, Mista served as a youth team coach for Madrid-based Rayo Vallecano and Valencia.

Mista signed with Toronto FC as a designated player in July 2010, but played just nine games in total. He also played for Tenerife, Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna in Spain.

“I want to thank Atletico de Madrid for trusting me with the responsibilities of this challenging and exciting project, the players and staff for understanding what we were trying to accomplish, and all Ottawa fans and supporters for believing in us,” Mista said in a statement. “I am proud of what we did during this difficult time, and I know that the club will be successful in years to come.”


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 27, 2021