Fury Finding Their Footing In USL

It may have taken a few months but Ottawa Fury have finally found their footing in the USL, climbing into a playoff position. After finding just one win in their first seven USL matches, Fury have won three of their last four matches which has pushed them out of the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. Once sitting second from the bottom, Fury now sit in seventh with games in hand on some clubs.

Ottawa’s recent form began three weeks ago with a 4-3 comeback win vs the New York Red Bulls II. The run includes four wins in their last six matches and just two losses in their last thirteen in all competitions, with one of the losses being vs Toronto FC.  The team has shown recently that they can put goals away, and that they can grind out results when the goals don’t come. They are playing with heart and more as a unit since starting their successful Voyageurs Cup run.

Early Injuries

Fury were plagued with quite a few injuries early on and are only now getting close to having a fully healthy roster.  Carl Haworth and Kyle Venter were both injured during preseason, while Ramon Del Campo, Gerardo Bruna and Steevan Dos Santos have missed lengthy periods of time.

Martin Mendizabal Gonzales, Photo Flash Jr.
Bruna has yet to reach his full potential in Ottawa due to injuries in both 2016 and 2017. He’s back fit now. Photo: Martin Mendizabal Gonzales, Photo Flash Jr.

Venter has found a place in in the starting line-up with Del Campo out injured and Haworth is expected to make his 2017 season debut this weekend in Rochester. Bruna has played an important role in the last few matches while Dos Santos made his return last weekend in Fury’s win over Harrisburg. Del Campo is expected to be out a while longer.

The versatility of the roster was tested early on, with Edward, Campbell and Obasi playing multiple roles. Fury were able to secure two loan deals with Montreal Impact, bringing DePuy and Salazar in to help up front. While DePuy was only with the club for one match, Salazar played a fairly important role in multiple USL matches.

Dixon and Seoane Partnership

Two members of the Fury roster that have stood out have been Ottawa native Jamar Dixor and forward Sito Seoane. Dixon has played a vital role in Fury’s midfield, often starting on the far right or inside right beside captain Rozeboom, and he has helped set up multiple goals so far this season. Sito Seoane is Fury’s leading scorer with four goals and twenty shots on target and has often started in the left forward position. Alongside Ryan Williams, Seoane often stands over set pieces and recently scored from a free kick.

Martin Mendizabal Gonzales, Photo Flash Jr.
Sito Seoane and Jamar Dixon have formed a solid partnership together. Photo: Martin Mendizabal Gonzales, Photo Flash Jr.

While Dixon and Sito have stood out, honourable mentions go to Eddie Edward, who has been very strong on the ball this season; Callum Irving who, apart from one gaff of a goal has been incredibly reliable; and Ryan Williams, who has been important from set pieces and as a playmaker.  Altogether the club have been playing as more of a unit, as players fall into their roles, and Dalglish seems to be getting the best out of the squad.

In The End

There is still a lot of work to go if Fury want to be a top club in the USL this season but they are certainly trending in the right direction. Focus for the team will be on finding that scoring touch again while still being strong at the back, something Fury have struggled to do simultaneously. The club head to Rochester this weekend before hosting both Orlando and New York the following Tuesday and Saturday respectively. Two wins out of three would help Fury pull away from very tight standings and put them in a position to be a serious playoff contender.

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Stuart Mactaggart

Stuart Mactaggart

My name is Stuart, aka FuryFanatic. I've been covering Ottawa Fury since 2014 and have provided colour commentary for their games on Rogers and TSN1200. I've followed Fury to New York, Florida and Vancouver and look forward to covering them in the USL for 2017.

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