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Atletico Ottawa Sign Cape Verde International to Bolster Attack

FC Dordrecht’s Gianni Dos Santos Playing on February 15, 2021

Atletico Ottawa announced on February 21st that they signed Cape Verde international Gianni Dos Santos. He most recently played for Pacific FC, who let his contract expire after the completion of the 2022 season. The length of the contract is two years, per the official press release. Born in the Netherlands, Gianni Dos Santos made his international debut for Cape Verde in the summer of 2022 against Ecuador.

Atletico Ottawa adds CPL Playoff Champion to Attacking Options

Gianni Dos Santos Will Be Looking To Prove a Point That He Can Produce at This Level

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Dos Santos initially made his way to Canada in 2021 when he signed for Pacific FC. Up until that point in his career, he had never left his home country of the Netherlands for football. He is originally a youth product of FC Dordrecht, a Dutch side currently in the second tier domestically. He also spent two seasons with Eredivisie side Sparta Rotterdam’s U21 team in the third tier of the Netherlands. During this spell with Rotterdam, Gianni Dos Santos was called up to Cape Verde’s U20 side for a friendly against Portugal in the summer of 2019.

To sum up Gianni Dos Santos’ career in the Canadian Premier League so far is that there is a lot to like but the results haven’t been fantastic. He is able to create something special by himself but at times is a non-factor in games. In his first season with Pacific, he recorded one goal and one assist in 16 games, albeit he played just 321 minutes that season. Despite not being an important player in the regular season, he played a very important part in their 2021 North Star Shield title. He assisted Alessandro Hojabrpour’s game-winning goal in the final against Forge FC. 

READ MORE: Alessandro Hojabrpour goal gives Pacific FC the North Star Shield

In 2022, Gianni Dos Santos had an increased role with Pacific FC. He was able to bump up his goal contribution totals to three goals and two assists in 22 games. He started in ten of those games. Dos Santos and Pacific FC bowed out of the playoffs to his new team Atletico Ottawa where he notably had a poor game in the second leg, coming on as a sub in the 60-minute.

Gianni Dos Santos Will Hope to Follow in the Tracks of Teammate Ollie Bassett

Dos Santos will be reunited with Ollie Bassett, last season’s Canadian Premier League MVP. They both featured on the Pacific FC side that won the North Star Shield in 2021. Dos Santos will be making the exact switch as Bassett, leaving Pacific and joining Atletico Ottawa. Bassett’s time with Pacific FC is very similar to Dos Santos.

Both were players that played a mix between the bench and starting but did not do enough to extend their stay in Victoria. Whether it was a change of scenery or the motivation to prove a point, evidently Ollie Bassett became a much better player in Ottawa. Dos Santos will be looking to follow suit in the nation’s capital.

Atletico Ottawa quickly has gone from being quiet on all fronts to be extremely active in the free-agent market. The club has signed Karl Ouimette, Noah Verhoeven, Samuel Salter, Jean-Aniel Assi, and now Gianni Dos Santos. The club still has three international slots open.


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