Last Friday, Ottawa Fury FC made the 4-hour bus journey to Toronto to take on TFCII in their first official match of 2015. As pre season games are meant to do, coach Marc Dos Santos tested out the fitness and competitiveness of his entire squad. Training camp has been fierce with all 21 players competing for starting positions. And the biggest story of this preseason friendly was the newcomers to the team. Making appearances in the midfield were newcomers to training camp Mohamed Dagnogo, who plays on the Fury’s Senior Academy team and Matthew Foschini, who came from…well, I don’t know where he came from but he scored a goal. In fact, none of the Fury’s 3 goals was scored by a returning player proving just how eager the new signings are to fit in and become part of the team.
Dos Santos stuck to his preferred 4-3-3 formation but tried different combinations of players in the first and second halves making it clear that the team will keep a familiar style of play this season. It also makes it very clear to the new players what their roles will be within this formation making the transition into the team a bit easier with well defined expectations.
The first half featured Randolph, Falvey, Alves and Richter on the back line, Ubiparipovic, Ryan and Misik in the middle, and Paulo Jr, Wiedeman, and Haworth up front. Goalkeeper Peiser started in net. It was Paulo Junior who started the scoring off when he converted on a pass from former TFC-man Andrew Wiedeman. TFCII responded and kept Peiser on his toes before getting one past the French keeper around the 15-minute mark. They would score again about 10 minutes later when a quick free kick landed at TFCII player Jordan Hamilton’s feet and was directed past Peiser. But the Fury tied up the game just before half time when Wiedeman’s pass connected with Patryk Misik who snuck it past TFCII keeper Alex Bono.
In the second half Dos Santos went with Poltronieri, Trafford, Beckie and Froschini as his defenders, Paterson, Eustaquio and Davies to round out the middle, and Oliver, Heinemann and Dagnogo out in front. Marcel DeBellis played goal in the second half. The second half started out fairly aggressive with a couple of yellow cards being shown and a few fouls being called. The final Fury goal came around the halfway point when Australian U23 international Matthew Foschini capitalized on a rebound and put it past keeper Bono. The Australian defender is training with the team but is not signed. Other stand-out performances came from Heinemann and Mohamed Dagnogo who had some chances in the half but were unable to convert.
One notable absence was Omar Jarun who is signed to the team but has not returned to Ottawa for training or preseason games. Reports indicate that the club will make an official statement regarding his status sometime this week.
This Friday the Ottawa Fury take on the Rochester Rhinos at Complexe Branchaud-Briere in Gatineau. Unfortunately, both captain Richie Ryan and midfielder Mauro Eustaquio will be out of the line up due to minor injuries. Coach Dos Santos commented that these are not serious but wants to take extra precautions so that everyone in the squad is at full strength for the first regular season game on April 4.