Atletico Ottawa – Match Report vs. Pacific FC (13/08/2023)

Atletico Ottawa defeated Pacific FC 1-0 in CPL action. Pacific dominated much of the game but an error at the back allowed Ollie Basset to score and then Pacific was not able to beat Nathan Ingham.

Tyr Walker

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Canadian 
  • Age: 19
  • Date of Birth: 22/10/2003
  • Current club: Atletico Ottawa
  • Career: Carleton University Ravens
  • Position: Centre-back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Tyr Walker, in his first professional start, was the breakout star of this game. Walker stood out for his aggressive and effective defensive play. Walker was very good at stepping out of the defensive line and winning the ball back. He was almost always in the right position and got the timing on these tackles correct. I would say Walker is around 6’0 but he’s definitely a little undersized for a centre-back. But in this particular match, he was playing directly against the 5’4 Adonijah Reid so his strength was not really tested. He did have some headed clearances but he wasn’t made to contest any headers against a big and physical centre forward. There were a few moments, however, where he got caught in difficult circumstances. Firstly, he was beaten by Reid when the Pacific striker got a chance to run at him. Walker was very good at getting tight to an opponent and brute-forcing the ball off of them, which is where he did most of his defending. But against a dribbler, he looked less assured. Is this a weakness or did he just happen to get beaten by a very good player in this match? It’s hard to say as he had played less than 20 professional minutes before this. Some of his movements were also a bit cumbersome. At one point he was almost caught out after an attempted sliding intervention was mistimed and on another occasion, he tripped over himself and was only spared by the referee incorrectly ruling he had been fouled. This cumbersomeness also limited what he could do in possession. Walker was able to play some very nice long-range passes. He demonstrated good vision but sometimes his ability to get the ball out of his feet or to hit a pass while he was under pressure messed up his ability to play those passes.


This was a very promising start to Walker’s career. I would need to see a lot more to be sure of his long-term potential but I would say this is a guy MLS teams should be monitoring to potentially bring into the MLS Next Pro teams. It will be interesting to see how his career progresses. 

Jean-Aniel Assi

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Canadian
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 12/08/2004
  • Current club: Atletico Ottawa (on loan from CF Montreal)
  • Career: CF Montreal (Y)
  • Position: Winger
  • Preferred foot: Right

Jean-Aniel Assi played as a winger in this match. Frankly, he was not that good. It’s not that often I sit down specifically to watch a player and leave wracking my brains for anything of note he did. A big problem right away is that Assi was just not very involved. He was rarely involved in the final 3rd, with Ollie Basset often occupying spaces you would expect from a right sided winger and Assi trailing somewhere behind.

When he did have the ball, I found his lack of directness to be vexatious. Assi would get the ball, isolated against a fullback, but he wouldn’t run at them. Instead, he would be looking to play a pass in behind, which he was able to complete with mixed success. Assi does seem to be a powerful runner, the few times he did carry the ball, but he didn’t utilize that ability very often in this match. One clear positive of his game is his first touch, he was able to bring down a lot of very difficult passes and maintain control of the ball. He didn’t attempt a single shot in this match and according to Wyscout, he has only attempted 15 shots in 2100+ minutes in his young career. So a future as a winger at a higher level can pretty much be ruled out.

The natural destination for an unproductive winger is fullback. But Assi’s lack of involvement in general and his seeming reticence to run at players makes me a little skeptical that would work for him either. He had a couple of good defensive moments in this game, he seems to be quite physically strong and was able to push players off the ball. But again, he just wasn’t that involved. 

Rating – C

Assi is only 19 so there is still time for him to figure things out. But his parent club, CF Montreal, should be trying to figure out a way to turn him into something other than a winger. Probably a fullback but maybe a box-to-box midfielder of some kind.

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