After a dramatic goal from Tommy Heinemann in extra time against Minnesota United last Sunday, Ottawa Fury FC are headed to the NASL Championship Final in New York. And this week they were honoured with several awards from the league.
Coach of the Year Award
Ottawa Fury head coach Marc Dos Santos was awarded with the NASL Coach of the Year Award earlier this week. Dos Santos lead the team to the NASL Fall Season title in only their second year in existence. The teamwork and support that has been evident between players and coaching staff is no doubt a direct result of his strong leadership.
Golden Glove Award
It’s no surprise that Ottawa Fury goalkeeper Romuald Peiser walked away with the NASL Golden Glove Award. The 2015 season saw Peiser break several modern day NASL records amassing 648 scoreless minutes, six consecutive shutouts, 14 overall shutouts, and 15 victories. After allowing only 22 goals all season, Peiser ended up with a 0.76 goals against average tying the modern day NASL record.
Fair Play Award
The Ottawa Fury have been recognized by the NASL with the Fair Play Award. This award is given to the team that has the best disciplinary record in regular season league play. Over the 30 league games, the Fury had only collected one red card and 45 yellow cards.
Humanitarian of the Year Award
Defender Drew Beckie was honoured by the NASL on Thursday with the Humanitarian of the Year Award for his work with children who have lost a parent to cancer. Beckie himself lost his father when he was a young boy and his experience prompted him to help others in the same situation. WINGS, Walking in Grief’s Shadow, is an organization set up to help children work through their grief in a safe environment.
The 2015 Soccer Bowl
The Ottawa Fury are set to take on the New York Cosmos this Sunday November 15 at James M. Shuart Stadium in Long Island in the most important game of their history. This year’s NASL Soccer Bowl is of epic proportions. The New York Cosmos need no introduction as they feature a talented squad lead by veterans Raul and Marcos Senna who will play in their last career game. These two will be eager to get one more championship title to their names before retiring from the game. Young midfielder Leo Fernandes who won the NASL Young Player of the Year Award earlier this week, will keep Ottawa’s back line of Mason Trafford, Colin Falvey, Rafael Alves, and Ryan Richter on their toes. He’s scored 8 goals and had 3 assists this season.
The Ottawa Fury will be lead by Captain Richie Ryan who returned from injury in the semi-final match against Minnesota. However, the squad will be without veteran midfielder Julian de Guzman who will be on international duty as Canada plays Honduras in their World Cup Qualifying campaign. Coach Dos Santos has a depth of midfield talent to choose from, but expect Mauro Eustaquio to step in for Captain Canada. The rest of the starting eleven will likely carry over from the semi-final game.
Statistically the two teams are as evenly matched as you can get. They finished the season with identical records of 15 wins, 11 draws, and 4 losses. Goal keepers Romuald Peiser and Jimmy Mauer are the top two statistically ranked goal keepers in the NASL. Their record against each other in the regular season is evenly split with 1 win, 1 draw and 1 loss each. In their most recent regular season match up, it was the Fury who got the other hand, beating the Cosmos 4-1 in New York. This Sunday will be a clash of the titans and it’s the perfect match up for an NASL final.