Category Archives: NASL Features

2015 Ottawa Fury FC NASL Season Preview

2015 Ottawa Fury FC NASL Season Preview

By Blog Smith (@BlogFuryFC) & Namu Yoon (@BBSC_SeoulBro)

Photo courtesy of RedNation Online
Photo courtesy of RedNation Online

Club:  Ottawa Fury FC

Location:  Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (City: 883,391; Metropolitan area: 1,236,324). The capital of Canada, Ottawa is situated on the Ontario side of the border between the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, with Gatineau forming the Quebec side of the metropolitan area.

Stadium: TD Place Stadium, Lansdowne Park, Ottawa, ON

Located near Rideau Canal, one of Ottawa’s most iconic landmarks, the stadium was redeveloped between 2011 and 2014 as part of the plan to bring NASL soccer and CFL football to the city. The stadium is about 15 minutes south of downtown, in a central location within the city. The stadium has a full capacity of 24,000, although much of the north stands and some of the south stands are closed off to give a capacity closer to 8,000 for NASL matches. The club’s 2014 spring season was spent at Carleton University’s Keith Harris Stadium while TD Place was being completed.

Manager: Marc Dos Santos, 37, enters his second season behind the Ottawa Fury FC bench.  Dos Santos has managed Montreal Impact in the USL and USSF (winning the 2009 USL First Division title) and Trois-Rivières Attak in the CSL, as well as serving as Technical Director for Desportivo Brasil before returning to Canada to coach the Fury. Dos Santos, affectionately known as MDS among Fury fans, favours a fluid and possession-oriented style of play primarily in the 4-3-3 formation.

Captain: Richie Ryan, DM

As of March 2015, the team captain is DM Richie Ryan, an Irish native who came through the Sunderland academy system, before playing in the Football League, Belgium, Scotland and Ireland. Ryan was named the PFAI Players’ Player of the Year in 2010, voted by players in the League of Ireland. Ryan combines strong leadership, quick short passes and accurate mid-range passes and strong tackling at the heart of the midfield in Ottawa’s preferred 4-3-3 formation.

Photo courtesy of Ottawa Citizen
Photo courtesy of Ottawa Citizen

Key Player: Sinisa Ubiparipovic, AM/LCM

Based on pure talent and performances alone, Ubiparipovic has to be the first name on the Fury FC teamsheet. Playing as the attacking midfielder on the left side of the midfield 3 in the 4-3-3 formation, Ubiparipovic was the main creative playmaker of the team in 2014, with his dangerous through balls to the front 3 often sparking the best chances of the game. However, his focus on offense sometimes distracts him from his defensive duties, which is crucial in stemming the opponent’s attack through the middle. However, his strong ball control skills will ensure that he continues to orchestrate much of the possession-oriented offense that Dos Santos has implemented.

Photo courtesy of Ottawa Fury FC
Photo courtesy of Ottawa Fury FC

Supporter Groups:  The Fury FC currently has three supporter groups. The Bytown Boys are generally the most enthusiastic and can be found at the front of Section W.  Stony Monday Riot, standing at the back of Section W, are considered the most original among the groups, often mixing Canadian songs and artists into their chants. The Fury Ultras are a smaller group who have cool shirts.

Photo courtesy of Stony Monday Riot
Photo courtesy of Stony Monday Riot

2014 Review:  Finishing in 8th place in the final NASL standings, Ottawa did not set the league on fire in their inaugural season.  Jumping from one stadium to another over the summer break did not do the Fury any favours, as they would go on to win only one match in nine games played at the new TD Place.  The lowest point came as the Fury started the Fall Season by going four matches without a goal.  While Ottawa was competitive in most of its matches in 2014, this stretch caused the Fury to drop out of the playoff hunt early.  It was not all bad news for the Fury, however, as players such as Richie Ryan, Romuald Peiser and Oliver gave strong performances and hope for 2015.

Photo courtesy of Ottawa Citizen
Photo courtesy of Ottawa Citizen

Notable Transfers In/Out

In: LB Mike Randolph (Atlanta Silverbacks FC), LB/LW Brandon Poltronieri (Atlanta Silverbacks FC), CB Rafael Alves (Ft. Lauderdale Strikers FC), CB Colin Falvey (Charleston Battery), RB Ryan Richter (Toronto FC), CM Julian de Guzman (Skoda Xanthi, Greece), CM Patryk Misik (Slask Wroclaw, Poland), LW Paulo de Araujo Jr. (Nautico, Brazil), ST Andrew Wiedeman (Toronto FC)

Out: GK Devala Gorrick (Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC), GK Chad Bush (CIS), LB Ramon Soria (NK Celje, Slovenia), LB O’Brian Woodbine (Charleston Battery), CB Kenny Caceros (released), CM Tony Donatelli (Baltimore Blast), LW P.R. Mayard (released), CF Vini Dantas (Pittsburgh Riverhounds)

2014 Best Matches

Apr. 26, 2014 – Ottawa vs. Carolina – 4-0 W – First competitive win for Ottawa in NASL history, with a mesmerizing display that has not been matched yet in Ottawa’s history. Of note is Oliver’s brace en route to him being named NASL Player of the Week, the fantastic midfield domination by Ubiparipovic, Donatelli and Ryan, and the selfless running of Carl Haworth in his lone appearance as a ST (who was mostly stationed out on the wings during the season).

May 17, 2014 – Indy vs. Ottawa – 2-4 W – An eagerly anticipated match that did not disappoint at all for Ottawa supporters. It was the Tony Donatelli show, as he had a very well-taken brace, highlighting his dominating performances for Ottawa during the spring season. Ryan also displayed his fantastic distribution of the ball, highlighting the differences between the two expansion cousins.

Photo courtesy of Ottawa Citizen
Photo courtesy of Ottawa Citizen

May 31, 2014 – Ottawa vs. Edmonton – 1-0 W – The season debut of Tom Heinemann, who was laid off for a couple months with a preseason ankle injury, was one of the most memorable moments of Ottawa’s 2014 season. His introduction as a late sub, and then his glancing header from a free kick to win the game in injury time against our Northern cousins ensured that Ottawa would take home the Poutine Cup, as it is known only in America, in their first competitive match-up in the league (the two clubs played twice in the Voyageurs Cup in April, not worth talking about ☺).

Oct. 1, 2014 – Ottawa vs. Atlanta – 2-0 W – Our lone victory in 2014 in our spanking brand-new stadium that we moved into for the fall season came against an Atlanta side that was in free-fall form at the time, and highlighted the fact that Ottawa could earn a professional win at home. Ottawa will be expecting many more of these professional wins at home if they wish to ensure a shot at the playoffs for 2015.

2015 Possible Best XI

Ottawa (4-3-3) (R to L): Peiser; Richter, Rafael Alves, Falvey, Randolph; De Guzman, Ryan, Ubiparipovic; Haworth, Wiedeman, Paulo Jr.

2015 Preview

Short version: The Ottawa Fury FC hope to build upon a 2014 season that did not go exactly as planned, but had glimpses of a team that could compete week in and week out with the best teams in the NASL.  The Ottawa coaching staff will look for improvements from their youngsters: Oliver, Carl Haworth, Drew Beckie and Mauro Eustaquio, as well as continued standout performances from Richie Ryan, Romuald Peiser and Sinisa Ubiparipovic.  The Fury emphasized defense over the course of the offseason, acquiring NASL veterans Mike Randolph, Rafael Alves and Brandon Poltronieri, as well as Irishman Colin Falvey.

The team quite recently made their biggest signing to date, inking Canada MNT captain Julian de Guzman in an attempt to solidify their midfield, which was in need of further depth.  The Fury FC will be harder to break down and score on this year, but an ability to put goals in themselves will be tested if Tom Heinemann and newly-signed Andrew Wiedeman can’t step up to give the Fury finishing in the final third that they lacked in 2014. Paulo Junior, another new signing, will be expected to provide further creativity and imagination.

Photo courtesy of Ottawa Sun
Photo courtesy of Ottawa Sun

Long version: The offseason has been one that emphasizes a theme of continuity. With 13 players returning from the 2014 squad, including the entire coaching staff, and having 21 players as of the 1st day of preseason camp, the Fury are in a far stronger shape than they were at the start of camp the prior season. With this familiarity comes strong teamwork and a heightened sense of expectations among the players, coaching staff and the fans.

The notable transfers have been across the back 4 and the front 3, as Dos Santos seeks to add strong competition among all 11 positions on the field. There will be an especially intense competition for spots at the 2 CB berths among Rafael Alves, Colin Falvey, Mason Trafford and Drew Beckie, which can only add to what was a good defense in 2014. The squad has far more NASL and MLS experience in its ranks, both from playing in the 2014 season and from bringing in proven stars in the league and those seeking to make their fortunes in NASL after mixed performances in MLS or having conquered much in USL Pro.

The Canadian content of the squad is as strong as ever, with the Fury expected to once again lead in the number of minutes played by Canadians in the squad among all professional sides. The exciting signings in the front 3 have added speed and guile, two qualities that were somewhat lacking in the possession-oriented offense of 2014. Andrew Wiedeman has looked sharp all preseason and currently has the edge over Tom Heinemann, while Carl Haworth has had a strong preseason and has pushed 2014 team-leading scorer Oliver Minatel neck and neck for the starting position at RW.

Photo courtesy of Ottawa Fury FC
Photo courtesy of Ottawa Fury FC

The late addition of Canada’s MNT captain Julian de Guzman to the central midfield adds the first mainstream name to the Fury FC in their young history, and completely changes the dynamics of the battle for starting berths in midfield. While he may or may not be able to get a game in with the Fury in their last preseason friendly on Tuesday vs. Wake Forest University, de Guzman may very well find himself in the starting lineup come opening day at RCM or at CDM, and will be an integral piece of the squad throughout the season. Nicki Paterson and Patryk Misik have both made strong cases to start at the CM positions throughout preseason, and may have done enough to prevent de Guzman or Ubiparipovic from simply walking into the starting lineup.

As discussed above, the key to a successful 2015 season will be ensuring that the form at home translates to more points at TD Place, as the high % of ball possession must be converted to clear-cut scoring opportunities, all while making sure that the team is ready for the counter-attacks they will face at home. At times, the 4-3-3 formation isolates Ryan in front of the back 4 in transition, and so a 4-2-3-1 formation may be utilised time to time to stop the attacks through the middle, all while maintaining greater possession of the ball.

If and when the team comes together, this team may truly break out strongly in its sophomore season. The anticipation among Fury fans continues to grow.

You can follow Blog Smith on Twitter at @BlogFuryFC and @OttawaFury, and his podcasts/articles on Ottawa Fury FC for RedNation Online at http://www.rednationonline.ca and https://blogfuryfc.wordpress.com.

You can follow Namu Yoon on Twitter at @BBSC_SeoulBro and @OFFCReview, and his articles on Ottawa Fury FC for Canadian Soccer News at http://www.canadiansoccernews.com and https://offcreview.wordpress.com.

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2015 Fury FC Broadcast Plans – Good, but Sportsnet 360 Must Be The Goal for 2016

Here’s my quick 10-minute take on Ottawa and the NASL’s announcement of their TV/internet broadcast plans for the 2015 season.

I skimmed the 2 articles very quickly and have to run out again, and will edit my post tomorrow for reflection and clarity. I may have missed or misunderstood some points from the articles, please feel free to let me know if you see anything!

It’s okay, it’s not that great, the news today, with respect to the Fury FC’s broadcast plans for the 2015 season.

1) The home games on TV will be on Rogers TV again. That’s alright, but if you want the club to get widespread TV coverage, we have to get on Rogers Sportnet, or Rogers Sportsnet 360. Rogers TV 22 is not good enough.

2) The away games won’t be on TV, that’s not great either. It’s hard to get it on TV, but it has to be a long-term goal.

3) The away games for all of us in Ontario, you better have a cable package, and you better have the premium package that has TSN, for at least $60/month. That’s the only way you can access the TSN GO app on your phone or tablet. If you don’t have cable or TSN, then you better hope the Fury FC website’s feed works and doesn’t crash, like it does for the CSA games. It’s great that it’s free, but I think the Fury has to strive for something better than their website or TSN GO.

4) The Canadian regulations that geo-block us from watching American channels, American Netflix, American ESPN3, that sucks big time. And the league’s hopefully aiming for ESPN2 next year, cuz ESPN3 isn’t TV either. One step at a time, I guess.

I have cable and I also have got beyond the cord and bypassed geo-blocking and beyond that, but I’m trying to think, how can the Fury go mainstream? And to go mainstream, we’ve got to get on a bigger TV channel than Rogers TV 22.

If you are reading this blog post, you probably discuss the team constantly day in day out, and we are some of the most hardcore out there. I know most of us here, we’re happy with the streaming options. But I’m thinking about the mainstream, and those who don’t follow or watch the Fury. How can we make the games accessible to them?

The website is a start, and making it free is great, but I think Sportsnet 360 has to be the goal for the Fury FC for the 2016 season.

NASL: http://www.nasl.com/article/uuid/1a4ij20y91hlzxwb9klbf2c7/north-american-soccer-league-announces-global-agreement-with-espn#.VRR4tC7G_Gw

OFFC: http://www.ottawafuryfc.com/news/detail/uuid/p3c40earafyc19zartavx2w23/every-kickoff-every-goal-every-match#.VRRC5lVVhBd

 

You can follow Namu Yoon on Twitter at @BBSC_SeoulBro, and his Canadian Soccer News articles on Ottawa Fury FC at http://www.canadiansoccernews.com/index.php?/page/articles.html/_/ottcityfootie.

Fury FC Roster Depth Chart/Starting XI Vote

I’ve seen some great footy debate and chatter on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and the Voyageurs forum about what the Fury FC roster looks like, and what their ideal starting XI and formation is.

I thought I would help facilitate that debate right here, and I thought I would open it up for that bastion of our society… random online non-scientific popularity votes. Seriously though, why not have some fun with it and open it up to votes, say every two weeks or so?

Voting Meme

I’ll point out one thing. We are very much clueless in our knowledge of these players, despite all the matches we have watched, when it comes to the understanding that the coaching staff and the players themselves have of each other.

They will be putting in blood, sweat and tears during the preseason (margaritas and booze during the offseason maybe 🙂 ), and they will be competing for their careers and livelihoods every day while aiming to win football matches together and entertaining fans. We should all acknowledge that.

That being said, as fans of the Fury, we have our favourites and our ideas on who are the best players on the team or who should be starting over who, and so on and on.

As long as we acknowledge that this is nothing more than a popularity vote, and that we can trust in MDS and the boys that the strongest starting XI will be out there on a weekly basis, I think this might be a fun thing to do with pre-season camp just 10 days away.

Toronto FC in fact did just this very same vote on their official website just the past week, at http://www.torontofc.ca/news/2015/01/choose-your-starting-xi-opening-day and http://www.torontofc.ca/news/2015/02/your-starting-xi-prediction.

Courtesy of Toronto FC... and the silhouettes that sneakily look kinda like the all-time goalscoring leader in CanMNT history...
Courtesy of Toronto FC… and the silhouettes that sneakily look kinda like the all-time goalscoring leader in CanMNT history…

You can see they only allowed comments and did not have any multiple choice polls, but I am far too lazy to tabulate all your comments and I don’t get paid for doing this at all, so that is why I am doing it with polls instead, despite all the abuses it is opening itself up to. The one thing I will do is make the vote tallies private on the polls itself, and I will post the lineup you readers have voted in two weeks or so, when I open it up for a new round of voting.

Feel free to comment below or chirp at me on Twitter at @OFFCReview on what you think is the ideal starting XI for the Fury FC! The next roster voting article won’t be so damn long by the way. All the players below have been placed in alphabetical order. You can try, but multiple voting has been disabled. The results, and a new round of voting, will be published in two weeks or so, happy voting!

NASL and Fury FC Announce 2015 Spring Season Schedule

NASL and the Fury FC announced its 2015 Spring Season schedule this morning, with the league announcing that 11 clubs will be participating in a 10-game spring season, with all teams playing 5 matches home and 5 away. The league welcomes Jacksonville Armada FC into its setup for Spring 2015.

The winner of the spring season will earn a spot in the 4-team playoffs, though IM Soccer News rightfully asked what was the exact reason for keeping the spring-fall split seasons, when the reason for the split for 2014 was the FIFA World Cup being played in the middle of the year.

Photo courtesy of NASL.
Photo courtesy of NASL.

Ottawa will start its season in Cary, NC, facing Carolina RailHawks on April 4th, while it will have its home opener at TD Place/Lansdowne Park on April 18th, hosting Minnesota United FC. The Loons were the opponents in the Fury FC’s home opener in 2014 as well, where they snatched a controversial late win.

The majority of the home games will be on Saturday, though the May 29th date with FC Edmonton will be on a Friday night, giving the match a special feel. The kickoff times for the games have not been announced yet, while the Fall Season schedule will be announced in January, and expected to host a minimum of 12 teams, with the addition of the Los Angeles team for Fall 2015.

Lastly, OFFC also announced that the deadline for renewing the 2014 season tickets will be January 26th. It’s time to get excited about 2015!

OFFC: http://www.ottawafuryfc.com/news/detail/uuid/168bmtr8b61jc14nubwlnmwpt5/fury-fc-open-nasl-spring-season-april-4-in-carolina#.VJGrvREOB

NASL 2014 Season-End Ottawa Fury FC Recaps

In the midst of some saddening news from the Fury FC about the dissolution of its USL W-League team, which is how Fury FC president John Pugh first became involved in Ottawa footy, I would like to share a list of all the season-end recaps of Ottawa’s maiden season in the 2014 NASL season. Most of these articles were written before the declines in the contract options, for which I gathered the articles in a separate post last week. I was just waiting for the RNO podcast to drop 😉 check it out for sure.

OFFC (USL W-League): http://www.ottawafuryfc.com/news/detail/uuid/d1mt7b5cu7nj1k7ro4t0f97eo/fury-fc-w-league-era-draws-to-a-close#.VH4aj4vF81I

Ottawa Sun: http://www.ottawasun.com/2014/11/05/tough-choices-ahead

RNO: http://www.rednationonline.ca/Articles2015/OttawaFuryFC2014SeasoninReview.aspx and http://www.rednationonline.ca/Articles2015/OttawaFuryFC2014ReportCard.aspx

CSN: http://www.canadiansoccernews.com/index.php?/page/articles.html/_/ottcityfootie/the-2014-ottawa-fury-fc-bloggers%E2%80%99-awards-r4950 and http://www.canadiansoccernews.com/index.php?/page/articles.html/_/ottcityfootie/2014-ottawa-fury-fc-players%E2%80%99-notes-r4953 (also on OFFC Review and Blog Fury FC)

RNO Ours is the Fury: http://www.rednationonline.ca/Podcasts2014/2014OursistheFurySeasonReview.aspx

2015 Ottawa Fury FC Season Tickets Pricing Chart

renewal-page-stadium-english_g9rlb2bsf2zs1jrdreyrg0pt5

The 2015 Ottawa Fury FC season tickets pricing chart was released yesterday on ottawafuryfc.com, check it out to see if you are interested in getting season tickets to watch the best live footy in the Ottawa area.

A single ticket in the supporters section is on sale for $176, which is a nearly 40% discount from the previous year, an incredible deal if you love to stand and sing throughout the match and show your undying support for your club. The renewal period is underway as well for season ticket holders from 2014. Overall, this is a pretty good week for Ottawa Fury FC fans and supporters!

Just to note, I do not work for the Fury or anything like that. As I’ve said in my About page, I’m a former exec in an Ottawa SG who now lives in Toronto and am always interested in spreading the good word that is NASL, live footy, and standing and singing the full 90 minutes and then some. I got my TFC season ticket last week, thanks for asking 😉

2015 National Soccer Coaching Conference (Toronto, ON)

I’ve been seeing various posts from the Fury FC and on RedNation Online about the 2015 National Soccer Coaching Conference that is happening at the end of January at the University of Toronto.

Fury FC technical director Philip Dos Santos will be a guest speaker at the conference this year, and our manager MDS was a guest speaker for the 2014 version of the conference. It seems that Canada manager Benito Floro and TFC manager Greg Vanney will be guest speakers as well for the 2015 version, alongside Kara Lang and others. That’s a quite impressive lineup.

If you are interested in checking this out, the link is http://www.varsityblues.ca/sports/2014/9/9/MSOC_0909140349.aspx, or twitter.com/bellnscc.

 

2014 Ottawa Fury FC Players’ Notes

In the 2nd part of our season review on the 2014 Ottawa Fury FC season, 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 season and comment on two aspects they liked about each player and one aspect about each player that they thought could be worked on for next season. We will focus our comments on those who played at least 5 competitive games for Ottawa and remained with the club as of the last NASL matchday.

You can weigh in on the comments section below, or harp at us on Twitter! We’d like to once again extend our thanks and congratulations to all the Ottawa Fury FC players, coaches and the on/off-field staff, and we hope they enjoy their well-deserved rest and vacations.

Goalkeepers

GK Romuald Peiser – Namu Yoon (NY): Can make spectacular saves, and can pull off a string of good saves. Could do better on 1-on-1 chances and breakaway chances. Blog Fury FC (BF): A strong leader that can make unbelievable saves; however, often gets flustered in a crowd.

GK Devala Gorrick – NY: Great reflexes, and communicates strongly with his defenders. Could do better on aerial balls and crosses into the area. BF: Has a high competitive level and great positioning, but is lacklustre in air.

Defenders

LB/CB Ramon Soria – BF: A versatile, smart defender who can deliver great deep crosses into box, but should work on defending in space. NY: Good bursts up the field with the ball, and versatile on both the left flank and in centre. Sometimes beat for pace by faster wingers.

LB/RB O’Brian Woodbine – BF: Quick, tough defender always a threat to join the attack but is sloppy at times and gives away too many fouls. NY: Confident in both attack and defense, and can match faster wingers for pace. Outmuscled by more physical wingers time to time.

CB/LB Mason Trafford – BF: The team’s workhorse is a tenacious defender. Is an average, not spectacular, all-around player. NY: Composed in central defense, and initiates a significant number of attacks with good passing. Needs to win more aerial duels on crosses and long balls from the opposition half.

CB Omar Jarun – BF: Is physically unmatched on the field, and is an offensive threat on set-pieces. However, is often caught out of position by his lack of speed. NY: Very aggressive and physical, and leads the back four well with strong communication. Ball control could be better, with quicker passes out of the backline.

CB/RB Drew Beckie – BF: The best slide-tackler on team has the ability to mark anyone on the field, but must work to avoid costly mistakes. NY: Hustles for the ball, and makes brave tackles and shots blocked. Needs to ensure that clearances get the ball out of the danger area.

RB/CB Ryan Richter – BF: Strong on the ball and great in anticipating when to push forward in attack, but lacks focus sometimes and must work on being more team-first. NY: Very good with the ball while attacking on the right flank, and is physical on defense. Needs to ensure consistency, with fewer mistakes on the ball in our own half.

Midfielders

CM/CAM Sinisa Ubiparipovic – NY: Great imaginative passing, and fine technique on the ball. Should help out on defense more if playing in central midfield. BF: The best pure dibbler on the team who runs at defenders creating offensive opportunities, but lack of conditioning cost him down the stretch.

DM Richie Ryan – NY: Wide and composed vision from central midfield, and makes strong tackles in midfield. Can not be allowed to get caught up field while playing as the only defensive midfielder. BF: Arguably the best passer in the league and the club’s vocal leader. However, his marking is poor for a DM, and he simply needs to run more.

DM/CM Mauro Eustaquio – NY: Good passing on long balls to the wingers and fine tackling in centre mid. Must be careful not to get caught in possession holding on to the ball. BF: Plays the game like a veteran player and has great range and is an adept defender, but a bad mistake cost Fury final match of season.

CM/RM Tony Donatelli – NY: Smooth link-up between midfield and offense, and always seems to find the open man. Must improve speed to help out on defense and to get into the opposing penalty area. BF: A physical presence in midfield with great vision and is patient under pressure, but lacks imagination and creativity in final third.

CM/RM Nicki Paterson – NY: Good through passes and energetic in the midfield. Could improve on being more accurate with long-range shots and passing. BF: Not afraid to take a shot, and will track back and defend; unfortunately, he disappears in some matches and must work on making more medium to long passes.

Attackers

LW/RW/CAM Oliver Minatel – BF: Fury’s leading scorer while playing limited minutes is a rare goal-poaching winger. Doesn’t always bring his A-game and needs to improve an inconsistent work rate. NY: Great athleticism in the penalty area, and brave in the air. Could get more involved in the build-up play with the striker.

LW P.R. Mayard – BF: Strong and quick with the ability to stretch opposing defenses down the flanks; however, his technique needs to be worked on for him to stand out. NY: Enthusiastic on the left flank, and can cross the ball well. Should attempt to pick out the right short passes when needed.

CF Tom Heinemann – BF: Tremendous work-rate with an uncanny resilience to constant hard tackles/fouls; however, must do better to create scoring chances on his own. NY: Great physical presence up top, and can finish a variety of different chances. Could work on better positioning for the aerial duels.

CF/CAM Vini Dantas – BF: An accomplished possession-type dribbler with incredible vision to create great goal-scoring opportunities; however, should work on becoming a more clinical finisher. NY: Really good play with the back to the goal, and can pick out nice chipped passes. Must provide a stronger presence in the penalty area.

RW/LW Carl Haworth – BF: Is very quick with exceptional close-quarter ball control and isn’t lacking confidence and skill to pull off the unbelievable. Needs to work on playing in space and crossing the ball. NY: Very energetic and aggressive and a good example to follow on the pitch. Could work on getting into and getting more involved inside the penalty area.

RW/RB Philippe Davies – BF: The best crosser on the team who plays defense as well as he does wing. Needs to become more well-rounded to be a consistent starter. NY: Best crosser on the team, and nice technique on the flanks. Could look for more involvement in the offensive buildup and on defense.

Other Fury FC Players

GK Marcel DeBellis, GK Chad Bush, LB Maykon Araujo, CB Kenny Caceros, RB Andres Fresenga, CM Hamza Elias, CM Zakaria Messoudi

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.

The 2014 Ottawa Fury FC Writers’ Awards

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.

Team MVP

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.

EPL, La Liga and UCL Fantasy Leagues for OFFC Supporters

The EPL season starts in 2 days! We are going to run some fantasy EPL, La Liga and UCL for Fury FC supporters.

We have 15 people currently signed up for the EPL league at Yahoo, and 4 people at the official EPL site! Join us, I’ll give a cool footy prize for the winners in the 2 leagues at the end of May~

Any updates to the league, and most of the discussions between the players, will be happening at the Bytown Boys SC’s Facebook group, at facebook.com/groups/BytownBoysSC.

Our EPL league at Yahoo/Eurosport is called “Ottawa Fury FC Fans”. The info you need to join is, ID: 7413, Password: cyor0

Our EPL league at the official EPL site is called “OFFC Supporters”, and the PW is 526077-137607

Our La Liga league at Yahoo/Eurosport is also called “Ottawa Fury FC Fans”. The info you need to join is, ID: 1680, Password: 5perg

Our UCL league at the official UEFA site will be called “Ottawa Fury FC Fans” as well. The info you need to join will be posted in September.

https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/fantasy/soccer/premier-league/home