After a long pre-season and three-straight games on the road to start the 2017 USL Season – and more than 20,000 km travelled – Ottawa Fury FC makes its long-awaited return to TD Place on Saturday as the club hosts Toronto FC II.
Saturday’s home opener marks the first of three meetings between the clubs as the two sides look to ignite a provincial rivalry early in the 32-game USL season.
“It’s a crucial game,” said Fury FC captain Lance Rozeboom. “We want to make sure that they know that this is a tough game to come to and also because it is Toronto, we want to make sure, with our fans, that we establish the fact that we are the better team. Ottawa-Toronto is a rivalry, so you have to win those games. It’s important.”
The club is looking to build off an important first win of the season – a 1-0 decision over the Richmond Kickers on the road last weekend – which featured a spectacular, long-range strike from Steevan Dos Santos to clinch the win.
“It’s tough to start three weeks on the road, but we are very excited to come back to the fan base and be able to play in this stadium,” said Rozeboom of the extended trip away from home.
Saturday will also be the first time Fury supporters get to see their team play a USL game after Fury made the jump from the North American Soccer League in time for the 2017 campaign.
“It’s wonderful, we have fantastic supporters,” said Fury FC General Manager and Head Coach Paul Dalglish. “We were one of the leaders in terms of attendance in the NASL last year, despite not having the season that we wanted to have. So the loyalty our fans have towards us is something that we don’t take for granted. It’s something that we want to repay with aggressive, competitive performances.”
TFC II, meanwhile, is looking to qualify for the USL post-season for the first time as the affiliate of MLS side Toronto FC opens its third season in the league.
Toronto is currently on a three-game winless streak after dropping two in a row to the first-place Tampa Bay Rowdies and Orlando City B squad and most recently splitting up the points in a scoreless draw against the Rochester Rhinos.
Fury FC Season tickets for the 2017 USL season are now on-sale at OttawaFuryFC.com, by calling 613.232.6767 X1 or in person at The Box Office at TD Place.