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Right Profile: Pacific FC add Jamar Dixon and Thomas Meilleur-Giguere

Pacific FC added two former Ottawa Fury players to their roster on Tuesday, showing their intent on building a strong squad for 2020. Veteran midfielder/defender Jamar Dixon and up-and-coming centre-back Thomas Meilleur-Giguere have moved west, with Pa-Modou Kah sending a statement to the rest of the league that he is serious about making Pacific FC championship contenders by bringing in the right profile players.

For Pacific FC, 2019 was an amazing year for soccer in the community; however results on the pitch left little to write home about. The stadium was intimate, the crowds were loud, the passion was evident and the sense of excitement was in the air, all that was missing was a winning side; enter Pa-Modou Kah.

Kah has only been manager on the isle for a week and he has already shown his scouting skills by bringing in two players that had earned glowing reputations in Ottawa over the past three years. Having worked with Whitecaps2 and FC Cincinnati, Kah has a strong knowledge of the USL player pool, which included Dixon and Meilleur-Giguere, and being able to obtain both players for free is an added bonus. With Ottawa ready to launch a club for 2020, Kah would likely have needed to act fast to sign any former Fury players, as rumours swirl that some may already have verbal agreements to join the expansion side.  So what type of players did Kah bring in?

Jamar Dixon

Jamar Dixon began his career with the Victoria Highlanders in 2009 before moving to Sweden and Finland, finally returning home to Ottawa in July of 2016 as a member of the Canada Men’s National Team.  When Dixon joined Ottawa he was a budding leader and playing his best football. For 2016 he spent much of his time competing with the likes of Julian De Guzman for playing time, however he was able to push his was into the squad.  In 2017, after some ups and downs for the squad and the sacking of Paul Dalglish, Dixon showed resilience and finished the season strong, being named the clubs MVP.

Jamar Dixon with Team Canada. Dixon is now with Pacific FC.

Credit: Canada Soccer
Photo: Canada Soccer

Jamar’s versatility was evident at his time with Ottawa Fury, as he was often asked to play central midfield, right midfield and right back. In the midfield Jamar is very composed on the ball, a great passer and is capable of quickly switching to attack when possession is gained.  When being utilized at right-back, Jamar was patient and well-timed with his tackles, and is able to quickly move the ball up pitch for the counter attack. Off the ball Jamar is a leader in the squad and someone who is capable of bringing players together and turning a game around.  He is undoubtedly a great influence on the younger players during training and will certainly aid in their development.

Thomas  Meilleur-Giguere  

Thomas Meilleur-Giguere, known affectionately in Ottawa as TMG, was a mainstay in the Ottawa back four while on loan from Montreal Impact. The 22-year old Quebec native arrived in Ottawa when Impact shut doors on their academy side FC Montreal .  After a few matches with Fury in 2017, Meilleur-Giguere signed with Montreal Impact, and was returned to Ottawa on loan, both for 2018 and 2019. Impact’s rotating door of managers the past few seasons likely played a large role in Meilleur-Giguere not getting any notice from the Impact , as his on pitch performances were great.    

Thomas Meilleur-Giguere at Ottawa Fury. TMG is now with Pacific FC.

Credit: Steve Kingsman/Freestyle Photography
Photo: Steve Kingsman/Freestyle Photography

While only 22 years old, Meilleur-Giguere plays with the composure and skill of a much more experienced defender, spending much of his time paired with veteran Canadian defender Nana Attakora. As a centre-back Thomas is very skilled in the air, as well as with the ball at his feet.  He is capable of moving the ball into positive positions (76% pass accuracy) rather than just clearing it, and is not one to regularly pass it back to the keeper. Meilleur-Giguere has a fantastic disciplinary record; with nearly 5000 minutes played in 2018/19 he only conceded 20 fouls and earned two yellow cards.

Meilleur-Giguere has shown great potential and if he continues to develop as he has been there is no reason to think he won’t one day play at the highest level, including the Canadian men’s national team.  He is still young and learning, and Pacific FC are not only signing a great player for 2020, they are investing in his future, as he will likely yield a transfer fee from the MLS/Europe in the coming years.

Westward and Upwards

For Dixon and Meilleur-Giguere this week has involved a move west, and for Pacific FC it is a serious move upwards in terms of the quality of their squad.  These two players are the perfect profile for Kah’s side, and will play important roles for Pacific in 2020. Only time will tell if these signings are a true success, but they certainly fit the right profile to help bring Pacific FC success on the pitch.