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MATCH PREVIEW: OTTAWA FURY FC v LOUDOUN UNITED FC

By Ottawa Fury FC, 04/13/19, 8:45AM EDT

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MATCH DAY INFO
Ottawa Fury FC v Loudoun United FC
Kickoff: Saturday, April 13 – 2:00 p.m. – TD Place Stadium

THE MATCHUP

Ottawa Fury FC returned home to TD Place stadium last week in what was a convincing display of its new possession-based style of play and exciting soccer, despite the unfavourable final result. The Ottawa side is eager to get back to the pitch and show the Fury FC Family that they have the quality and drive that will be needed to battle for a playoff spot in a tough Eastern Conference as it faces USL Championship expansion club Loudoun United FC (Saturday, April 13, 2 p.m., OttawaFuryFC.com).

STORYLINES

  • Fury FC enters USL Championship Week 6 with 4 points collected off a draw at Charleston (Week 1), a win on the road at Birmingham (Week 2) and a loss to Nashville SC (Week 5). Loudoun United FC sits in 15th position in the Eastern Conference with a loss to Nashville SC (Week 1), and draws against Memphis 901 FC (Week 2) and Tampa Bay Rowdies (Week 4).
  • Despite the loss, the Ottawa side did well against Nashville in establishing its possession-based style of play and maintain control of the ball with 65% of the possession.
  • Fury FC’s dynamic play so far this season has been highlighted by its passing skills. In its first 3 matches this season, Fury FC is averaging 482 passes per 90 minutes, up from 332.1 per 90 minutes last season.
    • As a comparison, the top 20 European clubs have been known to complete between 500-700 passes per match.
    • Against Nashville SC on April 6, Fury FC completed 588 passes with a 76% passing accuracy rate.
    • Fury FC’s midfielder Charlie Ward connected for 102 passes, maintaining a 93% passing accuracy, 87% in the opponent’s half.
  • This will be the first match-up between the two clubs. Loudoun’s player to watch will be forward Griffin Yow, Loudoun’s unique goal scorer this season who recently signed a homegrown contract with MLS affiliate DC United.

SCOUTING LOUDOUN UNITED FC

There is much more unknown about Loudoun United FC than is known as the club owned and operated by Major League Soccer’s D.C. United moves into its inaugural season. Former United States Men’s National Team assistant Richie Williams will lead Loudoun United into its first season, bringing with him the understanding of D.C.’s history and the potential to pull young talent like Donovan Pines and Antonio Bustamante into his lineup after both signed as Homegrown Players this offseason. There will be experience in goal with former Houston Dynamo shot-stopper Calle Brown returning to his home state, where he previously won a College Cup with the University of Virginia in 2014, and the club has also turned its recruiting eye overseas as it looks to bring in quality young Concacaf talent.

On the other side, the number of questions that are still to be answered mean there’s going to be a lot that Loudoun United has to figure out on the fly in its first year. In a loaded Eastern Conference, that means the chances of a playoff place are probably slim, with the hope being the side will fly under the radar before jumping up and surprising some of its more experienced counterparts. (via USL Championship)

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Head Coach Nikola Popovic

On the team’s focus going into this week… “I think it’s very positive. We have a good energy in the group. I think everybody understands we’ve had a very difficult game against Nashville, however the performance was good. It is a learning process but I think we’re going to have a very good performance Saturday.”

On scouting the opponent… “It’s a difficult team that is affiliated with DC United so it is very difficult to try to predict what kind of players they are going to use. It’s a new team in the league so we’re trying to scout the last game that they had and try to see what their strengths and weaknesses are from that.”

On the team’s performing the style of play… “The team is possessing the ball very well and understanding the spaces but we have to be much more lethal on the last third. We have to create much more chances and create the chances to score goals. The model is not just about passing the ball, it’s about passing the ball to create chances to score.”

Midfielder Charlie Ward

On his impact on the game… “It was a good game for the team (against Nashville). Obviously disappointed to lose but a lot of positives, for myself and as a collective as well, so going into this week we want to do the same but with a win.”

On adjusting from last week into this match… “I think defensively we were good in the game, but it’s a game that was decided by mistakes. We work on that every day with the coach and we’re ready, defensively and attacking-wise. We need to start scoring goals.”

HOW TO WATCH
LIVE STREAM:  OttawaFuryFC.com
RADIO: TSN 1200 (EN) | fm1047.ca (FR)
TWITTER: Follow @OTTAWAFURYFC
for LIVE updates #OTTvLDN #ForTheFury
TICKETS: OttawaFuryFC.com/single-match-seats