The inaugural NASL regular season has now wrapped up for Ottawa Fury FC, and there have been great and well-cherished moments throughout 2014. Namu Yoon (@BBSC_SeoulBro), from Canadian Soccer News and the OFFC Review blog, and Blog Smith (@BlogFuryFC), from Metro News Ottawa, the Ours is the Fury podcast on RedNation Online and the Blog Fury FC website, weigh in on the 2014 season and comment on who they feel deserve some of the end-of-the year awards that they have shamelessly taken from the excellent Waking the Red TFC SB Nation website (@WakingTheRed).
You can weigh in on the comments section below, or harp at us on Twitter! We’d like to extend our thanks and congratulations to all the Ottawa Fury FC players, coaches and the on/off-field staff, and commend the great fans and SGs that supported the club at Lansdowne, Carleton, and on the interwebz.
Blog Smith: Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Runner-up: Oliver) – This was not an easy decision and could easily be 4-5 different players. Ubi was the most consistent midfielder all year and an offensive threat whenever he touched the ball. Showing incredible skill on the ball, he was catalyst for the possession game the Fury were able to maintain (and often dominate) in most matches.
Namu Yoon: Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Runner-up: Tony Donatelli) – The Fury FC midfield was the strongest component in the team throughout the year, and Richie Ryan (my 3rd choice) provided the rock-solid stability and Donatelli provided the silky link-ups between defense and offense. However, Ubi was the magician that made the Fury offense possible, with his fantastic through balls to the strikers and the wingers, and the great technique to weave around the defenders when needed.
Offensive Player of the Year
Namu: Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Runner-up: Oliver) – As described above, he was the talisman that made the team function in its possession-oriented game, while he was also capable of the magic moments that broke open a game with his precise through passes. Oliver showed incredible athleticism in the penalty area, leading the team in goals scored, with the majority of his goals coming off his head while playing as a winger in a 4-3-3 formation. That’s just astounding. Honourable mentions to Tom Heinemann/Vini Dantas for their leading of the forward line and Carl Haworth for his non-stop running.
Bloggy: Oliver (Runner-up: Vini Dantas) – The Fury’s leading goal scorer and the only NASL Player of the Week winner from the club, Oliver was able to score some incredible goals from the wing, a position that produced almost no offence throughout the year. Seven goals and three assists in an injury-shortened season is undeniably incredible.
Defensive Player of the Year
Bloggy: Romuald Peiser/Devala Gorrick (Runner-up: Drew Beckie) – This may seem a bit like cheating, but it’s hard to pick one without picking the other. In a year that had many defensive lapses, both Peiser and Gorrick were outstanding all season, with both making very few mistakes while often saving the team with highlight-reel saves. Ottawa finished 5th in the league in goals conceded.
Namu: Romuald Peiser/Devala Gorrick (Runner-up: Drew Beckie) – Easily the hardest pick for me, personally. At the end of the day, when I thought about who were the players that helped keep Ottawa’s strong defensive record, it had to be the two keepers, who both displayed fantastic reflexes in net, and kept the team in the game for numerous occasions. Among the defenders, Beckie displayed a strong amount of grit and hustle that enabled him to win headers and block numerous shots, even taking in a concussion in the spring season as a result, while also helping start the passing game from the back. Honourable mention to O’Brian Woodbine for showing great 1-on-1 defensive skills in the games that he played after being picked up near the end of the season.
Young Player of the Year
Namu: Drew Beckie (Runner-up: Oliver) – Both Beckie and Oliver were integral to the side for their relative youth, but I felt Beckie’s all-around contribution when on the field was just that little bit better than Oliver’s, despite Beckie playing only about 75% of the league matches, due to both injury and team selection.
Bloggy: Oliver (Runner-up: Drew Beckie) – At 22, the young Brazilian has many years ahead of him, and if he can build on an amazing 2014 season, he has the potential to be scary-good in this league, if he isn’t already.
Moment of the Year
Bloggy: Oliver’s last second equalizer against Carolina at TD Place that led the Fury out of the basement of the league table and into the best run of the year for the Fury, who would shortly find themselves in the thick of the playoff race (Runner-up: First Fury win 4-0 over Carolina).
Namu: The home openers at Carleton and Lansdowne. The home opener at Carleton brought back a high-calibre professional footy side to Ottawa and was the culmination of a great amount of dedication by the OFFC staff, while the Lansdowne opener put Ottawa firmly on the North American footy landscape (Runner-up: The epic last-minute winner by Tommy Heinemann off the bench vs. FC Edmonton in the spring season).
You can follow Namu Yoon on Twitter at @BBSC_SeoulBro, and his blog on Ottawa Fury FC at OFFCReview.wordpress.com, and at @OFFCReview.
You can follow Blog Smith on Twitter at @BlogFuryFC, and his blog on Ottawa Fury FC at BlogFuryFC.wordpress.com, and his contributions to the Ours is the Fury podcast at @OttawaFury.