Valour FC Offseason Roster Update

It’s long been expected and, given the Valour FC’s disappointing 2023 Canadian Premier League season, the makeover of the roster is already well underway.

Valour FC GM and head coach Phillip Dos Santos met with this week for a status report on the roster and left no doubt that there will be significant changes for 2024.

“We’ve been at this even before the season ended,” he began. “Unfortunately, we started to see our needs earlier than we wanted to this year and for us it was very important to address 2024 quickly.

“It’s a very competitive market and our priority was always our domestic targets and we tried to work on those early in the process.

“We’re working. There’s a lot of work being done.”

Here is a look at some of that work:

-Players who are already under contract for 2024 or have had their 2024 options exercised by the club:

FB Jordan Haynes

GK Rayane Yesli

GK Darlington Murasiranwa

MF Marcello Polisi

MF Juan Pablo Sanchez

MF/F Kian Williams

MF/D Dante Campbell.

-Players who have not had the options of their contracts for 2024 exercised by the club:

FB Eskander Mzoughi

CB Matthew Chandler

F Anthony Novak

F Jaime Siaj

F Ahinga Selemani

MF Kevin Rendon

MF Jared Ulloa

-Players who are out of contract for 2024 (but with some still in negotiations with the club):

CB Andrew Jean-Baptiste

F Walter Ponce

MF Diego Gutierrez

MF/D Matteo de Brienne

CB Guillaume Pianelli

-Players with whom the club has until December 31st to exercise the 2024 option on their contracts:

FB/MF Andy Baquero

CB Abdou Samake

CB Klaidi Cela

MF Pacifique Niyongaire

MF Raph Ohin

Valour finished last in the CPL standings with a 6-8-14 mark, managing a league-low 25 goals for while surrendering the third most-goals – 38. It was a significant step backward for the club after finishing fifth, and just out of the playoffs, in 2021 and 2022. Since its inception in 2019, Winnipeg’s professional soccer side has yet to qualify for the postseason.

To that end, Dos Santos again emphasized that the club has prioritized pursuing domestic players with CPL experience and with the announcements of those already under contract coming ASAP.

“The league is very competitive. It’s not always about the best players, it’s about the right players and we felt if we were not aggressive and proactive early, we would miss out on some quality domestic players.,” Dos Santos said.

“We’ve targeted a few and we’ve been at it since I knew I was coming back. There’s players who have been signed and the announcements will come in due time and others we’re still in discussions with and as that’s ongoing we’ll hold our ground and stay patient to make sure we get them.”

Valour will pick first overall in next month’s CPL-USports Draft (December 14th) and Dos Santos said assistant coach Daryl Fordyce recently attended the U Sports Championships to scout some of the available talent.

Training camp, meanwhile, is scheduled for early February.