Ottawa Fury FC have signed Spanish midfielder Cristian Portilla (Porh-tee-YAH) and Canadian International Kyle Porter, the club announced Thursday pending league and federation approval. Both have been on trial with the club since training camp opened January 29.
“These are quality players that have solid backgrounds and history based on their careers and where they’ve been,” said Julian de Guzman, General Manager of Ottawa Fury FC.
Portilla’s professional career began at the age of 16 with his hometown club Racing de Santader in their B-side for three seasons before being called up to the parent club and featuring in La Liga. His 14-year career has seen the dynamic midfielder feature in Spain’s La Liga and Segunda Division, the Greek Superleague and Football League, the Hungarian championship and the Cypriot First Division before landing in the United States in 2017 where he went on to win a Soccer Bowl with the San Francisco Deltas.
“To add Portilla’s experience, ability, intelligence and vision to our club fills a gap that we’ve been missing here for quite some time,” commented de Guzman. “We’re very happy to have this addition - he could be a huge difference maker for us.”
While having been kept off the pitch for more than half the 2017 season because of injury, the midfielder looked strong and confident in preseason camp with Fury FC, blending seamlessly in Head Coach Nikola Popovic’s formation.
“As soon as my agent told me Ottawa was interested, I said yes. I’ve been told great things about the city and the club,” said Portilla. “I came in on a trial and then after talking with Julian and Nikola, I loved their ideas so I’m excited to be here.”
Canadian product Kyle Porter marks yet another player making a return in Fury colours. Raised in Mississauga, Porter joined the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency program in 2007 and would be loaned to Energie Cottbus in 2008 where he would feature in the German club’s U19 and U23 sides as well as Cottbus II before returning to the Whitecaps in 2010.
Porter continued to navigate his pro career in North American featuring in over 125 matches split between FC Edmonton, D.C. United, Richmond Kickers, Atlanta Silverbacks, Ottawa Fury FC and most recently with the Tampa Bay Rowdies. He has also featured in youth and senior competitions with Canada, including U-17 and U-20 CONCACAF Championships, and the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
“Kyle brings valuable experience in NASL and USL and he’s not here just to be a squad player,” said de Guzman. “We feel he has the ability to be in our starting eleven, whether it’s at right back or on the wing. He’s hungry and definitely ready to prove himself.”
“It feels like I had unfinished business,” said Porter of his return to Ottawa. “I’m an ambitious player and this is an ambitious club - I want to be here!”
Fury FC currently has the following players under contract for the 2018 season, including nine Canadians:
Ottawa Fury FC continues training camp ahead of the club’s fifth season. Fury FC will open the 2018 USL season on March 17 in Charlotte against the Independence, and will host North Carolina FC on April 21 at TD Place in their 2018 Home Opener.
Season Tickets for the 2018 USL season are available now at OttawaFuryFC.com/2018-Season-Tickets, by calling 613.232.6767 X1 or in person at the Box Office at TD Place.