MATCH DAY INFO:
Ottawa Fury FC @ Rochester Rhinos
Kickoff: Saturday, June 17, 2017 - 6:05 p.m. - Capelli Sport Stadium
USL Standings: Click Here
As the latest edition of the USL power rankings showed this week, Fury FC is a confident squad at the moment. Ottawa has only two losses in its last 13 fixtures in all competitions (7W-4D-2L) and the club is more united than ever at the moment.
After extending their unbeaten streak to four games last Saturday with a crucial 1-0 win over Harrisburg, Fury FC hit the road this weekend facing another red-hot team in the Rochester Rhinos in a match that could very well spark the beginning of a rivalry between these two sides. With just a single point separating Ottawa and Rochester in the USL’s Eastern Conference standings, a battle is expected Saturday evening at Capelli Sport Stadium.
A few Fury FC players will be looking to continue their recent success Saturday – especially Onua Obasi. Following his impressive performance against Harrisburg, where he led his team with 57 passes, three tackles, and three interceptions, the British left back was named to the USL Team of the Week.
Saturday’s game will be a special one for Obasi, as the 6-foot-4 left back played with the Rhinos in 2014-2015 and even won the USL Championship with them in 2015. He was then also playing with current Fury FC teammate Steevan Dos Santos. Both of them will be looking to stick it to their former club. So will captain Lance Rozeboom, who also played for Rochester from 2013-14 (49 matches).
Another player to watch will be Sito Seoane. The American-born Spaniard netted his team-leading 4th goal of the season against the City Islanders and he is currently tied for 14th in the USL scoring race. Defensively, Callum Irving will be looking to collect another clean sheet as the Canadian goalkeeper is currently tied for 2nd in the USL with four shutouts and tied for 6th in the USL with 30 saves.
A positive point for Fury FC is the long-awaited return of Carl Haworth. Ottawa’s 2016 top goal scorer was on the bench for the first time this season against Harrisburg and he might get his first minutes in 2017 against Rochester.
Ottawa is not the only successful team at the moment. Its opponents on Saturday are on quite a run as well. The Rhinos are currently a seven-game unbeaten streak in the USL (3W-4D-0L) and haven’t lost in league play since April 15th against Charleston.
Bob Lilley’s team did suffer a loss on Wednesday, but it wasn’t in the USL. Rochester saw its U.S Open Cup adventure end Wednesday evening in the fourth round with a 3-0 loss against the MLS side New England Revolution. The fatigue level might play in Fury FC’s advantage as Saturday will mark Rhinos’ third game in eight days.
Following Saturday's game, Fury FC will quickly shift focus as the club is coming back to TD Place Tuesday morning to host Orlando City B in Ottawa's first-ever School Day Game. Tickets for all Fury FC home matches are available at OttawaFuryFC.com, by calling 613.232.6767 X1 or in person at The Box Office at TD Place.
What they're saying:
Fury FC GM and Head Coach, Paul Dalglish:
“They are good. I have a huge amount of respect for Bob. What he’s achieved at this level is second to none really. As a young coach, he’s the guy I want to test myself against. His team is always well organized and hard to beat. They won’t give us any kind of free chances. We’ll need to remain patient and earn everything ourselves. It might take us 75-80-85 minutes to get a chance against them, but when we do we have to take advantage of it.”
Fury FC Defender, Onua Obasi:
"I have a lot of fun memories from my time in Rochester mostly winning the championship of course. It was my first professional club so I learned a lot there under Bob (Lilley). He’s a firm coach but a great coach. It will be good to go back there and show the fans how I developed since my time there. As a team they are doing really well, we are on a good roll as well so it’s a great chance for us to test ourselves against a really good squad.”
Fury FC Forward, Carl Haworth:
“It’s been a long road and a difficult one but It was good because I got to sit back and appreciate what I get to do for a living. I’m excited to be back and involved with the team and hopefully, I’ll be able to get some minutes this weekend. Rochester will be a tough opponent, we’ll need to outwork them and hopefully, our quality will take over. It will be a tough physical game, but that’s what we are expecting and we will be ready for it.”