“I love fighting for an opportunity, fighting for a spot.”

Valour FC has added to its homegrown talent pool with the signing of Canadian midfielder Matteo de Brienne.

The 19-year-old midfielder comes to Winnipeg’s Canadian Premier League team after a superb season with the Carleton University Ravens and following a stint late last summer with FC Manitoba.

A product of Ottawa’s South United program, de Brieanne was also part of the Vancouver Whitecaps residency program, where he scored 10 goals in 25 appearances for the U-17 program in 2017-18.

He had first signed in the CPL with Atlético Ottawa before the 2020 Island Games and travelled with the club to Prince Edward Island, but did not see any time there and committed to Carleton after that.

He was eligible for this week’s CPL-U Sports Draft, but the offer from Valour FC was just too intriguing for him not to grab.

Photo by Valerie Wutti

“I’m a person who works hard day in, day out and with this opportunity ahead of players with great quality players around me this will push me to be a better player and a better person,” said de Brienne in a chat with

This year I think could be a jumpstart to my career.”

Dos Santos would have been aware of de Brienne from his days with the Whitecaps, but the two had never spoken previously until a recent Zoom call and the contract offer from Valour. As well, while two years younger, de Brienne did attend the same high school in Ottawa as current Valour defender Tony Mikhael, the club’s top pick in last year’s CPL-U Sports Draft, and then followed him to Carleton.

His days with the Ravens produced some outstanding numbers as he scored eight goals and added four assists in being named to the 2021 U Sports All-Rookie Team and the OUA East Rookie of the Year. He was also named to the U-Sports Nationals tournament all-star team, as Carleton captured the silver medal after falling to the Université de Montreal in the final.

Internationally, de Brienne has attended U-14 and U-15 Canada Soccer identification camps in 2016 and 2017.

“I bring a lot of energy and a lot of character,” de Brienne said. “I’m very determined to win games. I’m not someone who is there just to have a laugh and a giggle. I’m there to push myself and the people around me. I know nothing is guaranteed and I like that. I love fighting for an opportunity, fighting for a spot.

“I know that’s how (GM and head coach Phillip Dos Santos) coaches and I’m going to love that.”