Ottawa Fury’s fourth attempt at Voyageurs Cup glory will continue Tuesday evening when they host Toronto FC at Ottawa’s historic Lansdowne Park. In what will be perhaps the biggest club football match to be played in Ottawa, Fury will host MLS leaders Toronto FC in the Voyageurs Cup Semi-Final first leg. The second leg will be played in Toronto on Wednesday May 31st.
A 4-2 aggregate win over Edmonton earlier this month secured Ottawa Fury’s advancement to the Voyageurs Cup Semi-Final for the second consecutive year, an accomplishment that earns Ottawa Fury national coverage. Last year Ottawa Fury were just a goal away from knocking out the Vancouver Whitecaps and advancing to the finals, but the result slipped through their fingers.
First Time For Everything
While this will be the second time that Ottawa Fury have faced MLS opposition; it will be the first that they face Toronto FC, and it comes at a time when Fury’s Ontario neighbour sits comfortably atop the MLS standings. Perhaps Canada’s most well-known club, Toronto FC are expected to draw a decent following to Ottawa for the first leg, ensuring a strong away support in the capital for the first time since the New York Cosmos visited in the summer of 2014.
Ottawa Fury play Toronto FC’s reserve side TFCII in the USL on a regular basis, having met once so far this year, but Toronto FC are not expected to be sending out a second string squad to Ottawa. While the likes of Hagglund and Giovinco will remained sidelined with injuries, Ottawa Fury could end up facing a very strong Toronto FC side Tuesday and will need to be at their best defensively to avoid an onslaught of away goals in the first leg.
Proudly The Underdogs
While Toronto FC will come to the nation’s capital as favourites to win, Ottawa Fury will gladly play the role of the underdog; Canada’s local team. Last year Ottawa Fury were quickly written off against Vancouver, with many seeing it as just a pleasure to host an MLS side in Ottawa. Unbeknownst to many Fury were capable of battling against the Whitecaps side fielded in Ottawa (including a fantastic goal by Jonny Steele) and put up a strong defensive effort in the second leg to push the match to the 180th minute.
While all signs may point to a Toronto FC rout of Fury, Dalglish has manoeuvred Fury through two-legged ties with a strong record and decent display of tactical awareness to get the results required. Ottawa Fury have regularly played with a 3-4-3 formation under Dalglish, but switched to a 4-5-1 on Saturday vs New York Red Bulls II. This could have been done due to injuries, resting players, trying to spark a change or in preparation for Tuesday’s match, but Dalglish has shown through team selection that he is ready to try and replicate last year’s first leg result and earn a shock result against Toronto FC by fielding Ottawa’s best team possible. The team are coming off a 4-3 comeback win on Saturday in USL action and will likely be brimming with confidence ahead of this Canadian David vs Goliath match-up.
A Night To Remember
Ottawa Fury have helped provide some incredible nights for supporters over the past few years and Tuesday night’s match will be no different. Ottawa and Fury will be at the forefront of Canadian soccer and you won’t want to miss any of the action. Tickets are still available through the club website, and supporters tickets can be bought through Stony Monday Riot and The Bytown Boys Supporters Club. If you’re unable to attend the match it will be broadcast from coast to coast on TSN.
The return leg in Toronto takes place on May 31st and any supporters interested in making the away trip with Fury should contact Stony Monday Riot for ticket and ride information.