The NASL Spring Season came to a close with the Ottawa Fury FC playing to a 0-0 draw in San Antonio on Saturday. The point was enough to earn the Fury 9th place in the league for the spring season.
The squad were looking healthier than they had all spring season with Tommy Heinemann, Mike Randolph and Philippe Davies, returning from a broken arm, available as substitutes. Only captain Richie Ryan and winger Oliver remain on the injured list. The Fury would be with out veteran midfileder Julian de Guzman as he was with the Canadian National Team for preliminary World Cup Qualifiers. The starting lineup for the final game of the spring season would feature the Fury’s rock solid defense of Mason Trafford, Colin Falvey, Rafael Alves and Ryan Richter playing in front of shut out king Romuald Peiser. Maruo Eustaquio got his first start of the season in the midfield in place of de Guzman alongside Sinisa Ubiparipovic and Nicki Paterson. Up front, coach Marc Dos Santos elected to start Brandon Poltronieri and Brazilian Paulio Jr. with Carl Haworth in the striker position.
As predicted, this was a fairly even match up with neither team wanting to give up any goals. The Fury started the game strong and went on the attack immediately but San Antonio’s Julius James held off Carl Haworth’s goal attempt in the 14th minute. Shortly after, San Antonio’s Marvin Chavez had a great chance on goal from a free kick, but Peiser was up to the challenge and kept a clean sheet. The rest of the game was a pretty even back and forth exchange between the two teams with neither able to break down the others’ defense. The Ottawa Fury had their best threatening offensive moments in the 66th and 67th as midfielder Mauro Eustaquio and defender Mason Trafford got a few good shots away but both just missed the net. The Scorpion’s Rafael Castillo and Omar Cummings were threatening offensively all game but were ultimately unable to get past Ottawa’s back line or keeper Romuald Peiser. The highlight of the night for many Fury fans was when Philippe Davies was subbed in at the 82nd minute. Davies had spent the entire spring season recovering from a broken arm and it was great to see him get back on the pitch for the team.
Ultimately coach Marc Dos Santos is pleased with what he has seen from his team in the spring season. “This group has been working extremely hard to win games. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get all three points, but we are doing things that we have to be proud of. Playing the reigning Champions in their home is not easy and we did well to get a positive result.” This final game solidifies the Ottawa’s reputation as a defensively minded team and sees Peiser continue his shutout streak to 5 consecutive games. He has now gone a record 526 minutes without conceding a goal.
This leaves the Ottawa Fury in 9th place in the NASL’s fairly cluttered Spring Season Table. The good news is, they are within 3 points of third place, but so are 5 other teams in the league showing how important goal differential is to the short 9-game Spring Season. And this is where the Ottawa Fury are lacking lately; goals. Coach Marc Dos Santos and the team are aware that they need to be better offensively and Dos Santos has confirmed with media that he is looking to add another element to the attacking players possibly in the break going into the Fall Season.
The Ottawa Fury will be on break for 3 weeks to resume on Sunday, July 5 at home hosting the Jacksonville Armada at 3:00pm.
Photo courtesy of Ottawa Fury.