By Théo Gauthier
In their latest roster move, the Ottawa Fury brought left-back Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé back into the fold from fourth-division French club AS Vitré.
Gagnon-Laparé, who has five caps for Canada, first played for the Fury during the 2015 stretch run while on loan from the Montreal Impact. In his first stint with the Fury, the Sherbrooke, Québec, native made three appearances, one of which came as a substitute in the NASL Championship match as Marc Dos Santos’s men were pushing to equalise against the New York Cosmos.
Following his loan stint with the Fury, Gagnon-Laparé returned to the Impact before being sent to the club’s now-defunct USL affiliate FC Montréal for the 2016 season. As it became clear FC Montréal would not be returning for 2017, Gagnon-Laparé secured a transfer to France at AS Vitré. While there, he made 37 appearances with two goals and eight cautions.
Gagnon-Laparé is left-footed and is presumably being brought in to replace Maxim Tissot, who is out for the season with a leg injury. His playing minutes should come on the left side of the formation where his direct competition would be Onua Obasi. His speciality is defensive play, so don’t necessarily look for him to make long overlapping runs down the flank. He may be a perfect late substitution for Obasi if the Fury is looking to shut down their opposition.
Fury General Manager Julian de Guzman seemed to confirm as much in the Fury’s press release: “He is a hard worker that will fit well with our club culture, and the style of player we need to add depth and options to maintain a strong defensive core.”
The addition of Gagnon-Laparé brings the Fury’s Canadian contingent to 17 players. If the Fury is not gearing up to be in the Canadian Premier League next season, they will undoubtedly be in the driver’s seat where the transfer market is concerned. With a rumoured CPL quota of six Canadians on the field per club at all times, CPL clubs may find themselves lining up at the Fury’s doorstep this offseason, begging Julian de Guzman to sprinkle some maple sugar on them.