2015 Fury FC Friendly – Wake Forest University vs. Ottawa Fury FC Preview
When: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 @ 7:00pm EDT
Where: Spry Soccer Stadium, Winston-Salem, NC
Ottawa Injuries and Absences: M Phil Davies (out), DM Richie Ryan, DM Mauro Eustaquio, CM Julian de Guzman (doubtful), F Oliver (probable)
Marc Dos Santos has put two nearly identical starting lineups in the Fury FC’s past 2 friendlies, which suggests that he has nearly settled on his starting lineup for the season opener on Saturday vs. Carolina.
The one enforced change due to injury, Carl Haworth coming in for Oliver, paid off during the game as Haworth scored what was described as a delightful shot with the outside of his foot from a Patryk Misik pass, another sub into the game.
Phil Davies had a severe fracture in his right arm, and is expected to miss 6 to 8 weeks, according to Ottawa Sun. With this further blow to the midfield corps, it will be interesting to see who lines up in the 3-man midfield for tonight’s friendly vs. Wake Forest, and the season opener vs. Carolina.
Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Nicki Paterson and Misik are the only 3 midfielders completely fit at the moment and could make up the mid today, while Julian de Guzman, once he has recovered from his Canada MNT matches, may make the lineup for the Saturday opener.
Alternatively, today’s friendly may see a second XI come out, with those who have not started many of the games this preseason playing the bulk of the minutes. This may make sense with the team having just played a friendly on Saturday, with the league kicking off the following Saturday.
If so, expect to see players such as Mason Trafford, Drew Beckie, Tom Heinemann and Brandon Poltronieri make their final cases to start for Saturday. The match kicks off at 7pm tonight in North Carolina.
2015 Fury FC Friendly – Syracuse University vs. Ottawa Fury FC Preview
When: Saturday, March 28, 2015 @ 6:00pm EDT
Where: SUNY Canton College Turf Field, 34 Cornell Drive, Canton NY
Ottawa Injuries and Absences: DM Richie Ryan (probable), DM Mauro Eustaquio (injured), CM Julian De Guzman (international duties)
Yeah, we signed Julian De Guzman 😀
Fourth game of the preseason, against a local side before we fly out to North Carolina for the friendly against Wake Forest University and the season opener vs. Carolina.
The Bytown Boys and the Stony Monday Riot peeps are planning to make the relatively short drive to Canton, NY for the game, contact their Facebook/Twitter if you are interested as well.
The furious battles across at least 7 positions for a starting spot will continue. There are very few guaranteed starters for the Carolina game, and this will be the best chance for Fury fans to get a glimpse of the team before the season opener. And the level of excitement is off the charts at the moment!
2015 Fury FC Friendly – FC Montreal vs. Ottawa Fury FC Review – 0-1 W
The Fury FC preseason continues with a short trip to Montreal to face its 3rd and final USL side this March, against the expansion FC Montreal, the USL reserve side for the Montreal Impact.
The game kicks off at 1pm at the Olympic Stadium, with DMs Richie Ryan and Mauro Eustaquio still nursing minor injuries, with Phil Davies performing admirably in the role last week.
This game may be the first time in our NASL history that we see Ottawa go up against one of their former players. CM Zakaria Messoudi, who was on loan for the spring season from Montreal and played well in his one appearance in the V Cup 1st leg against Edmonton, is now part of FC Montreal and may well see playing time tomorrow against the Fury FC, perhaps showing MDS how much he has improved since last season.
Some interesting tidbits for Fury FC fans from the past week that you may or may not be aware of:
Former ST Vini Dantas, who has been playing with Tony Donatelli in the MASL with Baltimore during the winter, has joined Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL) for the 2015 season. This echoes former GK Devala Gorrick’s move to Colorado Springs, also in the USL. https://twitter.com/VinihaDantas/status/577479294018015232
The Fury FC play their first preseason game of 2015 in the National Capital Region on Friday versus Rochester Rhinos, of USL, in the Complexe Branchaud-Briere in Gatineau on Friday.
Interestingly, Ottawa’s 2nd opponent in the 2014 preseason was Rochester as well, as the Fury FC traveled to the state of New York for their first ever away match in its NASL history. That match ended in 1-1, as Oliver won and converted a penalty in the 1st half before the Fury conceded a goal from a goalmouth scramble later in the half.
Ottawa won their 1st preseason game last Friday against TFC II, also of USL, 2-3 away in Toronto, with all three goals scored by players not on the roster in 2014, including Paulo Jr., Patryk Misik and non-roster trainee Matthew Foschini.
Update on Jarun
The latest news from Ottawa is that Omar Jarun will see a mutual termination of his contract today or tomorrow, as he has been absent from training camp while resting in his home state of Georgia. Jarun, one of the vice-captains of the 2014 team, was one of three players who was signed on 2-year contracts in the 2014 offseason, alongside Nicki Paterson and Tom Heinemann.
With the number of signings to the back 4 during the 2015 offseason, there were rumblings that Jarun may be relegated from the starting XI. What is interesting from this situation is that Jarun did not attend preseason camp at all to prove his worth as a starter, which may have been mutually or unilaterally agreed by either the coaching staff and/or Jarun. In any case, we will keep an eye peeled out later today for confirmation of the news, in which we will further delve into the issue.
Latest Injuries and Lineup News
As for injury news, Chris Hofley of the Ottawa Sun, who also first reported the Jarun news yesterday, disclosed that Richie Ryan and Mauro Eustaquio both have minor injuries they’ve picked up from the TFC II game and training. As they are the #1 and #2 DM’s in the roster depth chart, it will be interesting to see who lines up as the DM in the starting lineup for tomorrow.
The most likely candidate is Nicki Paterson, with Ubiparipovic and Misik (or Davies) lining up alongside Nicki in the midfield. However, Misik or even Mason Trafford are other candidates that come to mind for the DM position for tomorrow, or for any other situations where both Ryan and Eustaquio may be unavailable.
The competition for the spots in the starting lineup is fierce across all 11 positions, and I will be respectful of these matchups and not predict a starting XI for the match tomorrow.
The supporters are in full singing and chanting mode and are eagerly anticipating the first Fury FC match of the 2015 season in Ottawa-Gatineau!
Toronto II Subs – Roberts, Edwards, Bouchard, Osorio, Stakic, Godinho (45′)
Ottawa Goals/Assists: Paulo Jr. (Wiedeman) (7′), Misik (Wiedeman) (39′), Foschini (Davies) (65′)
Toronto II Goals: Hamilton (Kaye) (15′), Hamilton (Mannella) (24′)
Ottawa Fury FC met Toronto FC II in a friendly on Friday, with this being Ottawa’s first preseason action, while TFC II had won a couple of exhibition matches against NCAA sides during preseason camp in Florida, as well as partaking in an intrasquad scrimmage against the senior side.
The matchup highlighted some of the key features that we may see from the two sides in regular season action in NASL and in USL, with Ottawa seeking to dominate possession of the ball and build its way patiently through the back, while TFC II looked for quick balls over the top to avoid the physical matchups in midfield against older and bigger opposition and take full advantage of Jordan Hamilton’s pace and finishing, which brought the reserve side its two goals.
Ottawa lined up in its customary 4-3-3 formation, with no less than 6 newcomers sprinkled throughout the starting XI, including three new signings in the back four. TFC II also lined up in what looked like a 4-3-3 formation from my vantage view in the corner, with the lack of much knowledge on my part on the roster of TFC II and the Academy and the scant media information at the closed-doors friendly allowing me to take only an educated guess at the positioning of a couple players below (Martin Davis and Marcos Nunes in particular).
The attacking play from Fury FC in the 1st half was bright and encouraging, with the ball zipped around the front 3 in a fluid manner. Andrew Wiedeman often played facing the keeper rather than having his back to the keeper, and was able to move the ball around left and right to find the wingers.
The first goal came from a dribble and a short pass by Carl Haworth on the right flank to the middle, with Wiedeman then finding Paulo Jr. with another short pass into the left side of the penalty area, and the winger curling a delicious effort into the far top corner in the 7th minute.
In the backline, Rafael Alves in particular touched the ball often and was entrusted with bringing it up from the backline. However, the pace of Hamilton gave Alves and Colin Falvey some trouble, and a killer through ball from Mark-Anthony Kaye from the left flank found Hamilton streaking in diagonally to meet the ball and outpacing Falvey before sliding it past Romuald Peiser to tie it up at 1-1 after 15 minutes.
Peiser was kept busy with further dangerous threats from TFC II, with Kaye the focal point of the USL side’s attack from his LW position, always eager to go 1v1 against Ryan Richter and get into the box, as TFC II tried to play balls over the top to find Kaye or Hamilton.
However, Ottawa continued to control possession and had two further chances to extend their lead, with Haworth (or Wiedeman) nearly lobbing Alex Bono from the right flank after the keeper came out to meet a through ball, and then Wiedeman and Paulo Jr. both finding themselves around the six-yard box trying to deke out Bono and look for the perfect finish but being denied by Emeka Ononye on the line.
TFC II unexpectedly took the lead in the 25th minute when a quick free kick taken from near the center circle founds its way over the heads of the two CBs and found Hamilton all alone to apply a confident left-footed finish off the right post past a frustrated Peiser.
The 1st half was incredibly action-packed, and saw Ottawa tie it up at 2-2 when Wiedeman found a streaking Patryk Misik and laid it off to him on the right side of the penalty area for the midfielder to finish it from a tight angle past Bono. I have been told this description by the Fury FC Director of Communications, as I missed the play (lolz) while I had my head down for 15 seconds to live-tweet a disallowed goal just a minute prior for Ottawa from a free kick, due to a phantom foul on Bono.
The 2nd half saw the introduction of a fresh set of 11 players for the Fury FC, with 8 familiar faces returning from last season in the lineup, while Brandon Poltronieri made his preseason debut at LB, academy product Mohamed Dagnogo came in at RW, non-roster Australian Matthew Foschini practicing with the team for match fitness playing at RB, and Phil Davies coming in at RCM, in a position that I always thought he could play with his good technique.
The 2nd half was much calmer than the 1st half, as the familiarity between Mason Trafford and Drew Beckie helped quell the attacks, while Tom Heinemann used his strength to muscle off the TFC II defenders with ease and hold the ball up. Heinemann’s playing style of having his back to the goal meant that he was often laying off the ball to the midfielders running through the middle, particularly Nicki Paterson, rather than finding the wingers more, which I thought was the main difference between him and Wiedeman.
Heinemann’s style also meant that the team was winning more corners from cleared crosses, and there were a number of opportunities from these corners, with Foschini tucking in the rebound off one such set piece in the 65th minute to give Ottawa the 3-2 lead, which turned out to be the final score.
Poltronieri made a number of overlapping runs on the left flank and created some dangerous opportunities, while his counterpart Mike Randolph had often made some crucial last-man tackles in the 1st half, which I thought was another interesting difference between 2 players in the same position in the two halves.
Heinemann also had two other opportunities during the half, with his brute strength and fitness creating the first one as he shrugged off a defender to find himself alone in the penalty area but denied by a great save from Bono, while a through ball found the striker with space near the end of the match but his left-footed strike whizzing inches above the bar.
TFC II did not create many chances in the 2nd half but had one final effort by Anthony Osorio from the left side of the area that bounced off the far post to conclude the match.
Ottawa next faces another USL side in Rochester Rhinos on Friday at 10:45am in Gatineau for the 2nd of their 5-game preseason action, while TFC II continues its preparations for its first ever match in USL away at Charleston Battery on the 21st.
Hey all, I thought I would share this fun little blast from the past with you all.
I was going through some of my old Word docs for the blog, and I came across these starting XIs from Fury FC’s very first friendlies back in 2014, when the club was just starting out, and we were all finding our feet, whether the club staff, the players, or even the fans.
I thought this was fun to see, especially with the Fury FC about to kick off their 2015 preseason matches in two hours. Without further ado, here’s the Ottawa starting XIs from the 2014 preseason friendlies!
Where: Kia Toronto FC Training Ground, Downsview Park, North York, ON (Follow on Twitter at @OttawaFuryFC, @TFCII, @BBSC_SeoulBro)
Ottawa Injuries and Absences: CB Omar Jarun (absent)
Previous Meeting: None
The Fury FC’s 2015 preseason camp has been ongoing for 3 weeks now, and the club will play the first of its 5 friendlies tomorrow afternoon against Toronto FC II of the 3rd division USL.
We will have a first look at the 7 new Fury signings in game action tomorrow, despite the game being a closed-door friendly. The Fury will be live-tweeting details of the action throughout the game, and I will be sharing match details on my Twitter account as well periodically.
Ottawa has added throughout its lineup, but its most notable additions have been across the backline and the front 3, as Marc Dos Santos seems pleased with his veteran midfield from last season. I’ll take a quick look below at the lineup as of this week, and what to expect from the starting berth battles.
Fierce Competition in Defense
The competition for the CB positions will be the most closely watched during the preseason, with 2014 ironman Mason Trafford expected to battle for minutes with notable newcomers in Rafael Alves, fresh from his run to the NASL finals with Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, and Colin Falvey, who was recognized for his outstanding play in the USL and in the Indian first division. Omar Jarun also played a strong role in the backline last season and re-signed with the club during the off-season but has been an absentee from preseason camp and will not be in Toronto for the friendly.
The addition of Mike Randolph and Brandon Poltronieri, both from Atlanta, will strengthen the LB position, which was oft-contested last season, while Ryan Richter has been signed after a successful loan stint with the Fury FC, and will compete most likely with Drew Beckie in the RB spot.
Romuald Peiser has staked a heavy claim at the starting GK spot with his excellent half-season in 2014, but Marcel DeBellis is continuing to develop after spending a number of formative years in Italy and will continue to push for a starting spot. Waleed Cassis, an Ottawa native, is currently on trial with the club.
Exciting Signings in the Attacking Corps
The front 3 spots in MDS’s 4-3-3 will be up for fierce competition as well, with the CF position contested by incumbent Tom Heinemann and newcomer Andrew Wiedeman, who joins after an eventful few years at Toronto FC.
Fellow signing Paulo Junior comes in after stints in MLS and the Brazilian Serie B, and is expected to add some speed and jazz into the 4-man winger corps alongside 2014 leading points-getter Oliver, and Canadians Carl Haworth and Phil Davies.
Finally, forward Mohamed Dagnogo has joined the squad for the trip to Toronto, after impressing in the Senior Fury FC Academy side, which will be playing in the PLSQ 1st Division for the first time this season, and will look to stake his claim in the first team.
Settled Veteran Midfield
The midfield is more settled, with most of the 2014 starters returning, in playmaker Sinisa Ubiparipovic, energetic Nicki Paterson, and captain and midfield lynchpin Richie Ryan, while Mauro Eustaquio returns to continue his rapid development.
The loss of Tony Donatelli is somewhat tempered by the signing of former CanM20 international Patryk Misik, while Poltronieri may also be expected to play in midfield.
With this being the first preseason friendly of the Fury FC season, the players will be expected to be rotated at halftime and feature for a maximum of 45 minutes, as gaining match fitness and easing back into the rigours of the season will be priority at this point. However, the number of new exciting signings certainly add a degree of competition among the players and anticipation among the fans, and the storylines will become clearer as the preseason progresses.
The game also highlights the significant development of club footy in Canada in recent years, after the demise of the original CSL, with Toronto FC II representing a significant developmental milestone for Canadian footy, with a proper reserve side playing in the North American football pyramid.
The side consists mostly of standouts from the TFC Academy side that dominated the League1 Ontario in 2014, as well as other players that stood out in the league and is trialling with the USL side this preseason. As someone who has been eagerly watching the advances in the Canadian football pyramid and someone who purchased both Fury FC tickets and TFC II season tickets 5 minutes after it was officially launched, I will be one very happy observer in the stands tomorrow afternoon.
Fury FC announced their 2015 pre-season schedule yesterday, and, at first glance, the list of announced opponents seemed to be one of the best lineup Fury FC fans could possibly hope for.
With both Toronto FC and Montreal Impact firmly engrained in the footy culture of Ottawa-Gatineau, a match-up against either team has been seen as a golden opportunity for Fury FC fans in any competition, both to assert themselves against the big boys from the major cities, and/or to reconcile the love that people often felt for two, or sometimes even three, of these clubs.
Ottawa Fury FC 2015 Pre-season Schedule
Friday, March 6 – Toronto FC II (Unconfirmed) vs Ottawa Fury FC (Kia Training Centre at Downsview) *Closed Doors*
Friday, March 13 – Ottawa Fury FC vs Rochester Rhinos (Complexe Branchaud-Briere – Gatineau, QC; 10:45AM)
Friday, March 20 – FC Montreal vs Ottawa Fury FC (Olympic Stadium) *Closed Doors*
Saturday, March 28 – Syracuse University vs Ottawa Fury FC (Syracuse University, NY)
Tuesday, March 31 – Wake Forest University vs Ottawa Fury FC (Wake Forest University, NC)
When the schedule was announced yesterday, there were plenty of excitement from Fury FC fans to see the names of not one but both of the two MLS clubs, as well as a home date at Complexe Branchaud-Briere, which hosted a couple of pre-season games in 2014.
However, the initial announcement was followed up with a couple of caveats. The Gatineau game at the Complexe against USL Pro side Rochester Rhinos has been announced as 10:45AM on a Friday morning, which unfortunately will dissuade all but the most hardcore fans from being able to attend.
In addition, the TFC and the IMFC games were declared closed-doors friendlies closed to all fans, irrespective of if they were planning to make the trip to Toronto and/or Montreal.
Finally, the Red Patch Boys forum, dedicated to TFC, pointed out that the senior side had its MLS regular season opener on Saturday, March 7th, away at Vancouver, and were certainly not going to be in Toronto on Friday the 6th, much less play a friendly the day before their opener.
I looked at the IMFC schedule and noticed that their senior side will be away at New England on Saturday, March 21st, and therefore would not be playing against the Fury on the 20th either.
Finally, IMFC confirmed on Twitter that it in fact would be FC Montreal, their new reserve side in USL Pro, that would be facing the Fury in FCM’s final friendly of 2015 before their regular season kicked off on March 28th.
We can safely assume that the other likely opponent for the Fury will be Toronto FC II, the new reserve side in USL Pro for TFC.
This being said, the lineup of opponents for the Fury is still quite exciting from a Canadian footy point of view, with TFC II and FC Montreal heralded as possibly one of the most important steps in Cdn footy developmental history, as it finally provides a meaningful bridge between the senior MLS sides and the youth academies that the MLS Reserve League could never hope to provide.
The fact that the Fury FC will be playing their friendlies against these two sides should be lauded for the significance it brings to the development of Canadian footy over the past two years, as the number of professional Canadian sides has jumped from 4 in 2013 to 8 in a matter of two years.
While the Fury FC media and communications team has had a history of slightly exaggerating some of their announcements, with cases such as the news on Bruce Grobbelaar, Rafael Alves and now the TFC/IMFC preseason matchups, they should perhaps realize that those who follow their announcements the closest are well aware of the significance of Bruce, Rafael Alves and the new USL Pro sides, and perhaps should feel more than comfortable in being forthright in their announcements and lead the way in acknowledging to the fans just how significant these developments are for what they are.
After all, Rafael Alves has just been voted on this site as the most exciting signing yet of the 2015 off-season.
Fury FC injuries: LW Oliver (ankle), RB Drew Beckie (ankle)
Fury FC absences: CB Ryan Richter (loan recall), GK Devala Gorrick (rest)
Fury FC quick notes: Our starting midfield, one of the best in the NASL, was outpaced and outmuscled by the younger RFC midfielders, and we were under severe pressure for all of 1st half, especially down our right flank. RFC played many one-twos on that flank, and Fresenga, Jarun, Ryan and Donatelli failed to combine together to effectively shut down their passing moves.
In the 2nd half, the introduction of Davies and Paterson, particularly, shifted the momentum to Ottawa, with good passing and movement down our right flank and we started to open up some chances. Soria looked very good at LCB and is a player that deserves more playing time, with his calm, assured play throughout the spring season. The introduction of 17 year old F Jacob Schroeter was a great boon for the OFFC Academy and for elite footballer youths in Ottawa in general.