Quick Ottawa Fury Facts Before the Season Opener
Two seems to have been Ottawa’s lucky number in 2015. Ottawa Fury FC, much like the Redblacks, made it to the North American Soccer League championships (or Soccer Bowl) after only two seasons together.
Whether you’re new to Ottawa or were inspired to start cheering for the team after their successful year, here are a few things to know about the Ottawa Fury FC.
Fury plays in the North American Soccer League (NASL), which consists of 11 teams across Canada and the United States. Home games are played at TD Place with regular season games starting April till October.
The year is broken down into two seasons, spring and fall, with a month long break from June to July. After playoffs, four teams make it to the Championship tournament. These teams are made up of the spring and fall champions plus the two other teams with the next-highest records. These teams then play for the Soccer Bowl trophy.
In 2014, Fury players started their first season together. They finished with an average record, placing sixth overall and falling short of the playoffs.
While Fury and its management had been hoping for a better entry into the league, the season was not a complete loss. It gave the team experience and the building blocks they needed to develop for year two.
During the off-season, the franchise made minor changes but stuck with its veteran players. Starting 2015 with a strong core of players helped bring around a whole new season.
The first half of the year had Fury in eighth place, but in the fall, Fury astounded fans and newcomers alike by winning 13 of 20 games. This astounding streak landed them a spot in playoffs.
Much like the Redblacks, Fury FC made it all the way to the end, playing the New York Cosmos in the championship game. Unfortunately, also mirroring their football counterparts, Fury lost their championship dreams after the Cosmos came out on top 3-2.
Coach Marc Dos Santos was one reason for the team’s success. He created a stable and goal oriented environment for players to strive in. The NASL didn’t overlook his efforts, and Dos Santos was named Coach of the Year.
Players like the team’s top scoring striker Tom Heinemann and goalkeeper Romuald Peiser also contributed to the team’s success. Romuald was even awarded the Golden Glove by the NASL, naming him the top keeper in 2015.
Since losing to the Cosmos, Ottawa Fury has gone through many changes: most notably Dos Santos leaving, replaced by new head coach Paul Dalglish. A slew of players also left, including captain Richie Ryan.
With a successful year under their belt but many changes in the air, this year promises to be an interesting one for Fury soccer fans. All eyes will be on the team during the season’s first game, which takes place Sunday April 3 against the team that defeated them last year, the New York Cosmos. Stay tuned to Ottawa Life Magazine for continuing regular season coverage.