The Ottawa Fury continue to move forward in establishing their 1st USL roster. With most of their NASL-team now confirmed gone, or signed on for the season, the Fury have wasted no time filling in some of the most pressing blanks. Today we’ll revisit who re-signed, look at the new faces, and examine what slots still need to be filled.
First off, as reviewed last post, a number of their NASL players have re-signed with the Fury. Forward Carl Haworth will lead the charge for Fury USL, both as the lone forward to be re-signed, and as a likely captain of the squad. Gerardo Bruna, Ryan Williams, Lance Rozeboom & Jamar Dixon have all signed on for the midfield, and the returnees for defense include Onua Obasi, Kyle Venter, and Eddie Edward. Sadly, neither Peiser nor De Bellis will be returning as keeper. The Fury’s 3rd-keeper from last year, Andrew MacRae, was re-signed early. This provided the team with some bare bones, but a number of holes that needed to be filled. Furthermore, the list only contained 4 Canadians (Haworth, Dixon, Edward, and MacRae).
Since our last post, the Fury have announced the signing of 5 more players, filling a few of the gaps. They’ve signed Sito Seoane & former USL Rochester Rhino Steevan Dos Santos as forwards, providing the Fury with more attacking power. On the defensive side, the Fury have filled Alves’ position with Shane McElenay of Ireland, and Andre Campbell, recently from USL’s Orange County Blues. They’ve also filled their need for a starting keeper with their sole Canadian signing, Callum Irving, who split last season between USL’s Rio Grande Valley FC & MLS’ Houston Dynamo.
Dalglish seems to like having the team setup with a 3-4-2-1 setup. Given the team he currently has assembled, we now have a full line-up, but there’s a lot of room on the bench. Let’s start at the back: Callum Irving will be the starter in net. With his experience, he’ll fill the position quite well. MacRae isn’t nearly experienced enough to start, but as the back-up keeper he’ll see a handful of minutes throughout the year. Eddie Edward on the right, Onua Obasi on the left, and Shane McElenay will fill the middle defense. That puts Campbell on the bench as a good sub who may occasionally start, with Venter fighting for position.
The midfield isn’t quite as clear. Rozeboom & Dixon are strong, and they’ll be shored up with a healthy Bruna. Williams is more trouble though. He’s been played on the left wing, almost like a forward. The left-midfielder position has Dixon, so it’s not likely that he’ll be slid back there. We’re also short a midfielder on the right, so that’s a position for which the Fury need to keep shopping. Obasi could slide up into left-mid, with Dixon moving right and giving Campbell a spot at left-back, but we’ll have to see how the chemistry plays out. Dalglish loves to play his players out of their preferred position, so who knows how this could be mixed-and-matched.
Haworth is going to keep his position on the right, and I’d say we’re looking at even money that Williams will remain on the left as an attacking mid. Sito Seoane is probably going to start on the bench, but I can see him fighting for a spot. We can count on Steevan Dos Santos in the striker position, hopefully finding the back of the net far more often than most of Fury’s strikers.
It’s a good mix of players, with different experiences, but without knowing what kind of depth the Fury will have, we could easily have the same troubles they witnessed in the NASL through a very lackluster 2016. There’s definitely more signings on the way, and I would not be surprised to hear of one or two more before we count in the new year. Even this starting lineup could use some tweaks, but we’ll have to see who they recruit into their ranks to see how it really falls out.