Calgary, AB (April 24, 2019) – Cavalry FC announces the signing of 20 year old Gabriel Bitar (CAN) to its first ever U Sports Development Contract.
Born in 1998, Gabriel Bitar was selected first overall in the inaugural Canadian Premier League U-Sport draft in November of last year. The Ottawa native brings with him a sterling resume from his brief University career with the Carleton Ravens. As a freshman, Bitar led the nation in scoring, winning the prestigious Lou Bilek Award as U Sports soccer rookie of the year, and was named a first-team All-Canadian in 2017. For an encore in 2018, he tallied thirteen goals in the regular season and chipped in four more in the U-Sports Championship to buoy the Ravens to a third place finish.
Head Coach and General Manager Tommy Wheeldon Jr. was quoted as saying that they were looking for “difference makers” during the inaugural U Sports draft in November 2018 and subsequently the 5’9 Bitar fitted the bill as Cavalry FC selected him 1st pick overall. The alumnus of Ottawa Internationals Soccer Club, Gabriel provides additional value by fitting the U21 domestic player requirements. Under the Canadian Premier League (CPL) operating rules, each team are required to have a maximum of 23 players on the roster, of which a minimum of 3 must be under 21 years of age (Jan 1st 1998 or younger). The significance of this league rule is to continue to develop young Canadians and the U21’s are required to play a minimum of 1,000 combined minutes in regular league play. Bitar recently joined the squad on their trip to the Dominican Republic and cemented his spot in the squad for the upcoming 2019 CPL season.
“He’s a forward who fits the way we want to play,” Wheeldon Jr. said. “We want to be dynamic. Gabriel moves well; he’s a fast-twitch player that plays off the shoulder or drops into pockets well, he’s also a very good goal scorer. Gaby has a spark in him that we like and we look forward to what he can bring to the Cavalry”. Wheeldon Jr. added.
In inking his deal, Gabriel has achieved a long held dream. “My ultimate goal ever since I was a kid is to play professionally.” said Bitar in an interview at his alma mater last season. This May he will finally get that chance.