Jared Ulloa’s first stint with Valour FC back in 2021 may have gone in a flash, but it did leave a lasting impression on then-incoming GM and head coach Phillip Dos Santos.
Winnipeg’s Canadian Premier League club announced the return of the Peruvian/Canadian winger today, adding to the team’s offensive depth. Now 20, Ulloa returns to Valour after spending last season with Cusco FC — a club in Peru which recently earned a spot in Liga 1, the country’s top league – scoring once in 16 appearances.
“He’s a player we tried to bring in last year. We’re excited to have him back,” Dos Santos told valourfootball.club. “He’s young player still with a good margin to progress. He’s dynamic, he’s deceptive, he can threaten with the ball at his feet but is also quick attacking the space.
“He’s someone that needs to grow in the final third, in his final action, but when he gets separation, he’s going to put a ball in and try and create something.”
Born in Peru to a Canadian father, Ulloa first joined Valour in ’21 on a loan agreement from Club Sporting Cristal. He returned to Peru last season and was then loaned from Sporting Cristal II to Cusco.
During his first stint with Valour Ulloa made 23 appearances – 22 CPL games and one in the Canadian Championship – totalling 852 minutes while registering one assist.
His minutes were growing after Dos Santos was parachuted in as Valour’s new boss in September of ’21 and he made four starts for him before a season-ending injury took him out of the lineup for the final three matches.
“It’s another attacking piece that brings us a bit of flexibility and versatility in how we can attack,” Dos Santos explained. “He’s a player that just acquired a full season of experience playing in a very difficult professional league in the Peruvian second division where they were promoted, and they won the championship. So, he comes from a winning locker room.
“He played a lot from the time I arrived and then had an injury for the last four games or so. He was unlucky there, but I think it went from not playing as frequently to suddenly being used a lot. We think the player has an upside. We followed him throughout last season and always said if we had the chance to bring Jared back, we would do it. We’re happy we were able to agree to terms with him and get him back to Winnipeg.”
Ulloa’s return is another component to Valour’s makeover after finishing the last two seasons in fifth place – just outside the playoff line. Gone are familiar faces like Moses Dyer, Stefan Cebara, Brett Levis, Federico Pena, Rocco Romeo, along with CF Montreal loanees Jonathan Sirois and Sean Rea while co-captain Daryl Fordyce has retired and moved into the coaching ranks.
Ulloa will join, among others, new players Jaime Siaj, Kian Williams, Pacifique Niyongabire, Marcello Polisi, Abdou Samake and Jordan Haynes when Valour training camp opens in a few weeks.
“He’ll be competing with a guy like Pacifique, with a guy like Kian for one of those wide positions,” said Dos Santos. “It gives us depth… Jared, Pacifique, Kian, Walter (Poncé) that can play in one of the wings as well. We signed Jaime and still have Matteo de Brienne in the mix. Now we’re starting to feel a lot more comfortable when it comes to our attacking pieces.”