After scoring two crucial points with a pair of 2-2 draws in their recent two-game home stand, Fury FC take their playoff aspirations on the road for the next two matches starting Saturday evening in Rochester.
With just seven games remaining in the regular season, Fury FC are currently five points out of the final two playoff spots, however, they have a game in hand on almost all the clubs they are chasing. With 21 points up for grabs until the end of the season, the players and staff are well aware of the importance of each game, starting with Saturday’s tilt against a Rhinos team that has won five of their last seven matches.
Saturday’s fixture will mark the third and final meeting between Ottawa and Rochester in 2017. The Rhinos won the first match 1-0 at Capelli Sports Stadium on June 17, while the points were shared in a 1-1 draw at TD Place on July 15.
Ottawa also knows that Rochester is a tough place to play, as the Rhinos have lost only two games at home this season, both by a one-goal margin. On top of that, Bob Lilley’s side has the best defensive record in the Eastern Conference and the second in the USL, having allowed only 22 goals in 24 games.
Steevan Dos Santos, who will be facing his former team for a third time this season, will have to keep his streak going if Fury FC hope to collect all three points. The Cape Verdean striker found the back of the net in a fourth straight match against Saint-Louis FC and he is now one goal shy of Tom Heinemann’s single season record for most goals in regular season play.
Another player who the Rhinos should keep an eye on will be Carl Haworth, who should have extra motivation during that game as the Canadian International is expected to feature in his 100th match in club history. The Barrie, ON native surpassed Romuald Peiser’s all-time minutes played record of 6964 minutes last week against Saint Louis FC and will be looking to net his first tally of the season against in Rochester.
The Rhinos are coming into Saturday’s game after extending their winning streak to two games with a 1-0 win against Toronto FC II last weekend. During that game, Rochester’s goalkeeper Tomas Gomez earned his 9th clean sheet of the season and is currently tied for second in the USL.
Following Saturday’s match, Fury FC will come back to Ottawa to prepare for their next match when they travel to Charlotte to face the Independence on September 16.
Tickets for Sunday's game 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:
Fury FC GM and Head Coach, Julian de Guzman:
“We’re well aware that Rochester is a well-respected team. They’ve done quite well this season and in the history of their existence. One of their strengths is not conceding a lot of goals, so it will be a matter of us converting chances. If we continue to stress and worry about our game plan and not look to far ahead, I’m confident that we will be successful.”
Fury FC Midfielder, Jonathan Barden:
“Rochester always put up a really tough battle so we know going in there that it’s going to be a tough game. We’re coming into this game with fairly good confidence. I think we are playing well right now. Every game is vital now, we have to win every game. We’re going there with the mindset that we are going to collect three points.”
Fury FC Midfielder, Sergio Manesio:
“They are a good team, probably one of the most difficult teams to play against in the USL. They’ve been around for a long time and they’ve had a lot of success. They work extremely hard, well-organized so they are going to be difficult to break down, but we’re confident in our abilities. We’re confident that we can play against anybody in this league and get a result so we’re going there confident and ready to get a win.”