MATCH DAY INFO:
Ottawa Fury FC vs Charlotte Independence
Kickoff: Saturday, August 12, 2017 - 7:00 p.m. - TD Place
USL Standings: Click Here
Following a 2-1 setback against Bethlehem last weekend, Fury FC embark on a stretch of four games over the next 11 days starting with a clash against the hottest team in the USL – the Eastern Conference leading Charlotte Independence – Saturday under the lights at TD Place. Charlotte comes to the nation’s capital riding a 12-game unbeaten streak (8W-4D-0L) having not lost since June 7.
While last Saturday’s loss marked the club’s first-ever loss when leading at halftime, Paul Dalglish is confident that his side will offer a solid performance in the final match of a four-game home stand. The loss to Bethlehem halted their home unbeaten streak at six matches, but Fury FC remain a strong side at home with a record of 4W-4D-2L.
While Ottawa has scored in eight of their last nine contests, that all important second goal is what is needed. Canadian International Carl Haworth might still be looking for his first goal of the season, but all signs point to a break-through for the man who led the club in scoring in 2016. Haworth has been denied by the crossbar or post three times in the last two matches and has helped his club create 25 scoring chances in its last two games and generate 49 shots in its last three games.
Fury FC will undoubtedly need to be at their best to beat the conference leading Independence who have outscored their opposition 28-10 during their impressive 12-game unbeaten run. The streak has vaulted Charlotte into the top spot in the USL Eastern Conference for the first time in club history.
After starting the campaign with only one win in their first five games (1W-2D-2L), and three wins in their next six games (3W-1D-2L), Charlotte has since turned things around thanks to their impeccable form over the last two months. Ottawa will have to keep a close eye on Enzo Martinez and Jorge Herrera, both scoring leaders for Charlotte with 12 goals each. Martinez returns to the line-up after missing Wednesday’s draw in Toronto as a result of a one-match suspension.
Both teams will have to play without key players on Saturday as Shane McEleney will serve the first of his three game suspension for an incident against Bethlehem. While the Irishman only received a yellow in the match, it has been since reviewed with a red card issued for the foul along with a three-match suspension. Charlotte will be without the services of Donald Smith who picked up a red card in the 2-2 draw against Toronto FC II on Wednesday.
Following Saturday’s match, Fury FC will enter a grueling 3-game road trip, starting Wednesday in Orlando, followed by a stop in Tampa Bay next Saturday, before wrapping up a run of four matches in 11 days with a stop in Cincinnati on Wednesday, August 23.
Fury FC will close out the month of August with a crucial meeting against New York Red Bulls II at TD Place on August 29.
Tickets for Saturday’s contest and all home games are available online at OttawaFuryFC.com/Tickets, by calling 613.232.6767 X1 or in person at The Box Office at TD Place.
What they're saying:
GM and Head Coach, Paul Dalglish:
“They are good, yes, but you look at Toronto; they were bottom of the league before they played Charleston and they beat them and then tied against Charlotte, so every team is tough to face in this league, but nobody is that much better than anybody else.”
“For me, we just have to take it like any other game. We can’t get too involved in the standings. This is our home patch, so we’re certainly not going to be intimidated by Charlotte. We’ve beaten Vancouver here, we’ve beaten Toronto here. It’s a USL team that comes here and we feel that on our day we can be the best team in the league. We want to take it to them from the first minute.”
Fury FC Captain, Lance Rozeboom:
“They are a good team, a very good team. They’re in first place right now and had a really good stretch. They are dangerous so we know that defensively we will have to be very sound, but we don’t fear anybody. It will be a great challenge for us to see where we are at before our three-game road trip. We have to show them some respect, but not too much respect. We’re excited for the challenge.”