The Forward Press: 'Liberman is Here'

The Forward Press: 'Liberman is Here'

Over four months on from his signing for the Rojiblancos, Liberman Torres has arrived in Otttawa! Coach Carlos Gonzalez dropped the news as he provided updates on his players in his pre-match presser on Thursday. The Ecuadorian was seen being eased into training Wednesday afternoon, and will provide a number of refreshing options for Carlos Gonzalez down the stretch. Torres joins the squad as Atlético Ottawa prepare for a clash with fourth-place Forge at home this Saturday. Gonzalez joined the media to discuss his impressions of Forge, the goalkeeping situation, U-21 minutes, and of course the arrival of his enigmatic Ecuadorian. Here are all the details:

Photo © CPL Photos

The Quotes: Carlos Gonzalez

On Forge beating CF Montreal: “I think it was a great victory for them yesterday, and I think it's going to be a great test for us on Saturday. Not very surprising for me because I really know the level that there is here and the level of the teams here, and I was sure that they were going to do a good job in this Championship Games.”

On the arrival of Liberman Torres: “His role is going to be to add quality to the training sessions because he has been for a long time not training in a team dynamic, so we have to put him in a good level physically. And after that, he's a versatile player. He's a player that has a lot of quality, that has a great physicality. And also he can play in a couple of positions. He can play in the midfield in any of the positions that we play with. And he can also play as a center back. So this was the type of players that we were trying to sign in the offseason, players that are versatile, that can play in different positions, and that can give solutions in many different ways to the team.”

On Tyr Walker and U-21 minutes: “We've only played six rounds. We have three good options in those spots…At the end of the day, Tyr has to fight for a position in which we have two very strong players. So probably that's the main issue of why he's not participating as much, because at the end of the day, who do I take off?...And the other one is Zachary Roy, that he has had options and still we're working on him so that he can give us minutes in different positions on the right wing. So let's see how the season evolves.”

On the injury to Nate Ingham: “Let's see what is the final decision at the end of the week. Today, we have a training session, tomorrow another one, and we will take a final decision on his situation...He's having a discomfort in the pelvis for a couple of weeks now. So we decided that we should stop him a little bit and work on him better so that he can get stronger to the level that he wants to.”

Photo © Phil Larivière

An interesting note there on the positions of Zach Roy. With a plethora of right-sided defenders, one wonders if we may see Roy taking up some positions with less defensive responsibility. It’s another cog in a machine full of moving parts, and Gonzalez noted that the squad “hasn’t arrived yet to the full potential” and that they are “still working on things.” 

As for Liberman, let's temper expectations. As Gonzalez noted, he is far from match-ready. But while Torres may fall behind the aspiring Tyr Walker in the centreback hierarchy, his allure is what he offers at the base of midfield. Liberman provides a secondary option to 38-year-old Zapater, who may not wish to play as many minutes as he did in his previous campaign. The arrival of Torres serves as another positive moment in what has thus far been a sparkling campaign. To have such good news in the same week that Atlético Ottawa scores its first goal and records its first win against Forge at TD Place would be a masterstroke. 

Forge started a full strength squad to keep CF Montreal at bay in the midweek, and it will be the third game in eight days for most players as the Hamilton club visits Ottawa. Forge are also reeling in the league, having lost to Vancouver last weekend. With Rubén Del Campo scoring at an unstoppable rate, Aparicio once again in the team of the week, and Yesli looking a more-than-competent heir to Nate Kinghams throne, ATO enter Saturday as favourites. Although he would never admit to it, Gonzalez must be smelling blood in the water.

The Capital City Supporters Group will be at the Glebe Central Pub before and after the game for drinks on Saturday, so don’t be afraid to come join! Given the circumstances, (a competitive match, toonie hotdogs, nice weather pending and Liberman in attendance) it is sure to be a day you won’t want to miss. Kick off is at 3pm. See you there!

About Ben

Ben Ralph is a die-hard football fan and a journalism student at Carleton. He has been supporting Everton through the ups and downs (but mostly the downs) and could not believe his luck when he stumbled across Atlético Ottawa in 2021. Now part of the Atleti faithful, his dream has always been to write football stories, and he is excited to join other fans as writers for CCSG. His football journalist idols are Adam Hurrey, James Richardson, and Charlie Eccleshare from The Football Cliches Podcast.

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