That time of the week! We have another match coming up tomorrow, and this time we face our partner in the Class of 2014: Ottawa Fury FC.
The Fury are currently two spots above Indy in the table, with a 1-1-3 record. They’ve lost at home to Minnesota (1-2) and away to Fort Lauderdale (0-2) and Atlanta (1-2). Their impressive win came at home versus Carolina (4-0), and last week they drew with Tampa Bay (1-1). This puts them in 8th place, tied with Edmonton at four points but ahead on goal differential thanks to that Carolina win.
This will be a bit quicker than usual — because there’s not a lot of history to discuss just yet. But the Fury are an interesting comparison to Indy, so let’s take a look at what they’re aboot.*
*That’s how they talk in Canada, eh? #takeoffeh #bobanddougmckenzieforever
Ottawa Fury FC
Ottawa started play in the NASL this year, just like the Indy. However, unlike Indy, the team has a history before NASL promotion. The Fury were originally formed as a USL PDL team in 2005. The PDL (Premier Development League) is the fourth-level league in the US and Canada, behind MLS, NASL, and USL Pro — but was the third tier when the Fury were members. It’s the highest-level amateur league in the pyramid. They had nine seasons in the PDL, up to last year.
2013 (PDL): 11-2-1, 1st/Northeast div, lost in East conf finals
2012 (PDL): 10-3-3, 1st/Northeast div, lost in East conf finals
2011 (PDL): 4-5-7, 4th/Northeast div
2010 (PDL): 11-3-2, 1st/Northeast div, lost in East conf finals
2009 (PDL): 12-4-0, 1st/Northeast div, lost in East conf finals
2008 (PDL): 9-3-4, 2nd/New England div
2007 (PDL): 3-5-8, 7th/Northeast div
2006 (PDL): 7-3-6, 2nd/New England div
2005 (PDL): 9-0-7, 3rd/Northeast div
Ottawa’s 2014 season so far has to be considered in two pieces. The 4-0 win over Carolina is everything that Indy has lacked — a first home win, a shutout, and a clear dominance over a decent team. But Ottawa have only scored three goals in the other four games, while giving up seven. They’ve also played a home-and-away series with Edmonton in the ACC; they drew 0-0 at home but lost 1-3 in Edmonton. So other than Carolina, Ottawa have struggled. We’ll see which team we face on Saturday.
Ottawa are coached by Marc Dos Santos. He’s a Portugese-Canadian coach who’s held previous head coaching positions with Montreal Impact (including part of their NASL year) and the Trois-Rivières Attak. Most recently, he was technical director with Desportivo Brasil, before being named the first head coach for NASL-bound Ottawa.
The 2014 team has been fairly consistent. The Fury’s lead scorer in the NASL so far is Oliver. The young (21) Brazilian striker has two goals (both scored against Carolina) and an assist so far. He’s combined well with Tony Donatelli; the US midfielder has two assists and a goal, scored last week against Tampa Bay. The defense starts with goalkeeper Devala Gorrick, who’s played every match so far. Mason Trafford (a US-born Canadian) has been a fixture at CB, while Drew Beckie (Canadian) and Omar Jarun (Palestinian) have played key roles in the defense as well, and Irishman Richie Ryan has been mostly used in a defensive midfield role. Ottawa has played a 4-3-3 for the last few games, though they started the season with more of a 4-4-2.
Identity and Home Field
Ottawa’s colors are black and red. The home kit has black shorts and socks, and a black shirt with a red stripe down the middle. The away kit is mostly white: white socks with a red top, white shorts, and a half red/half white shirt, divided vertically.
The Fury are owned by Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), who manage the large sports facilities in the Ottawa and teams like the Redblacks of the CFL and the 67’s of the CHL. The supporters’ group are the Bytown Boys. Also check out Ours Is The Fury, the Fury podcast with the awesome name. (HODOR)
Currently, Ottawa are playing at Keith Harris stadium, a field turf stadium on the campus of Carleton University. It has a capacity of 3,044, and the team has drawn an average 0f 2,600 for its games so far. But Harris will only be used for the Spring season. The team will open its Fall season in TD Place Stadium, currently in the final stages of renovation. TD Place will hold 24,000 and will also be the home of the Redblacks; I’m sure the Fury will hope to increase their attendance in the new venue.
Ottawa have had one great game and four n0t-so-great games (though they played quite well in the draw with Tampa Bay). Unlike Indy, they’re seemingly getting stronger as the season progresses. I’m not going to issue a specific prediction this week — seems like it’s been bad luck in the past. But the key questions are whether Indy can start making adjustments, and whether Ottawa can play stronger on the road than they have yet. This might be the week for an Eleven win… but only if Indy play a smart, consistent, and mistake-free game. Do that, and I feel good about our chances.
Come on you red and blue! Beat the Furcy!