Steve Kingsman/Freestyle Photography/Ottawa Fury FC
It was a historic night at TD Place as Ottawa Fury FC hosted the Montreal Impact for the first time at TD Place on a night where Canadian soccer legend Julian de Guzman came out of retirement for one night only much to the delight of the 6600+ in attendance.
Fury FC fell 1-0 early in the match on a set piece that was converted by Calum Mallace in the 3rd minute. Fury FC quickly turned things around and applied constant and dangerous pressure throughout the rest of the first half – however they unable to make the most of their chances. Julian de Guzman made his highly anticipated return in the 58th minute of the match to a rousing ovation from all supporters at TD Place. Fury FC continued to press but were ultimately unable to find the equalizer in the late stages of the game.
As one of two players making their first start in Fury FC colours, goalkeeper David Paulmin was tested early on as the Montreal Impact were awarded a free-kick in one of the first plays of the game. Wearing the captain’s armband, Calum Mallace delivered a pin-point right-footed effort which curled up and over the wall and past debutant Fury FC goalkeeper David Paulmin in the 3rd minute of the match. Recently signed midfield Adonijah Reid also made his Fury FC debut.
After an early goal concession, Fury FC picked themselves up and got things turned around quickly. An Andrae Campbell effort on goal, followed by a Dos Santos effort in the 19th minute, kept Montreal Impact keeper Eric Kronberg on his toes. Pressure continued as the efforts on goal were followed up by three free-kicks awarded to Fury FC in dangerous areas – Ryan Williams’ effort on the third free-kick just grazing the crossbar in the 40th minute.
Wholesale changes were made for Ottawa Fury FC to start the second half as almost all the starters except for Sergio Manesio, Andrae Campbell, and David Paulmin were replaced. All eyes were on the sidelines in the 58th minute as Sergio Manesio eventually made way for Julian de Guzman, who came out of retirement for the friendly. In a classy display of appreciation, de Guzman’s entrance was met with a standing ovation by the 6600 plus in attendance. As de Guzman ran onto the pitch for the last time, wearing the number 89 on his back – a tribute to his 89 caps for Canada – the most-ever in the country’s history – Ramon Martin Del Campo immediately bestowed the captain’s armband upon de Guzman’s sleeve. A touching moment for a player and person of the utmost class, quality, and character.
De Guzman proved that his touch stood the test of time as he made several impressive touches, delivered crisp passes to his teammates and displayed the same level of hunger and tenacity shown throughout his lengthy career as he stripped the ball from the Impact players. As the game wound down to the final 10 minutes though, he and his Fury FC teammates were urged along by the Fury faithful who wanted their team to grab the goal that would level the friendly match.
Fury FC continued to press in the late stages of the game - Julian de Guzman included himself in the offensive chances as a 90+2 ball fell favourably for him just outside of the penalty box, however, the chance was scoffed wide of target. Fittingly, de Guzman’s effort would be the final one of the match as the game was called to a halt shortly thereafter, Fury FC falling 1-0 to Montreal Impact on this inaugural meeting between the two clubs.
FC will now host the Rochester Rhinos on Saturday, July 15 at 2 p.m. in the first of four straight home matches. Saturday’s match is the annual Purolator Tackle Hunger game and fans are asked to help tackle hunger in Ottawa and surrounding areas by bringing a non-perishable food item or cash donation to the Purolator volunteers stationed at the stadium gates. Since Fury FC and the Ottawa REDBLACKS began their participation in the program in 2014, the teams have raised more than 175,000 pounds of food for the Ottawa Food Bank.
Tickets for all upcoming home games are available at OttawaFuryFC.com, by calling 613.232.6767 X1 or in person at The Box Office at TD Place.
Fury FC GM and Head Coach, Paul Dalglish:
On the game: "It was a great free-kick in the first half and, apart from not allowing the free kick, there’s not much you can do to stop it. Other than that, it was great. We gave every single player available in the squad minutes tonight. It was meant to be a celebration of the partnership between the two clubs and I thought both teams played some nice football at times. There could have been some more goals, but overall we’re pleased with how things went.
On de Guzman: “I’d love to give him a hard time, but when you see him you can tell that if he wanted to, he could still play. You can see the class. With some of the things he did out there you’d almost wish you could turn the clock back and stick him back in the team, but unfortunately, time is something no one, not even Julian de Guzman, can fight.”
Fury FC Assistant Coach and Midfielder for one night, Julian de Guzman:
“ It was fun until two runs and then I got lightheaded a little bit. Playing in that position for so long and being reminded how many kilometers you run per game, it’s a no-joke position. That’s something I will always cherish and every time I see a player play in that role means a lot to me."
“I was definitely overwhelmed with the recognition and truly thankful for the opportunity. I love Ottawa and this city has a lot to offer to other Canadian professionals and I keep telling myself that this is exactly what many Canadians want to be a part of.”
Ottawa Fury FC
First half (3-4-2-1): Paulmin; Venter, Meilleur-Giguère, McEleney; Campbell, Manesio, Dixon, Edward; Williams, Reid; Dos Santos
Second half (3-4-2-1): Paulmin (MacRae 77') Campbell, Martin Del Campo, Barden; Mkungilwa, Bruna, Manesio (de Guzman 58’), Sanon; Luboyera, Sito; Hume
Montreal Impact (4-5-1): Kronberg (Pantemis 46') ; Duvall (Tabla 46'), Cabrera, Lefevre, Lovitz; Beland-Goyette (Bernardello 65'), Mallace, Shome, Oduro (Choiniere 65'), Salazar; DePuy
3' MTL - Mallace
July 15 vs Rochester Rhinos - 2 p.m. - TD Place
Next Home Match:
July 15 vs Rochester Rhinos - 2 p.m. - TD Place