MATCH DAY INFO
Ottawa Fury FC v Louisville City FC
Kickoff: Sunday, July 14 – 2:00 p.m. – TD Place Stadium
With another character-filled performance against New York Red Bulls II last weekend and a convincing win in its first match of the Canadian Championship on Wednesday night, Ottawa Fury FC returns home on Sunday to face two-time USL Championship defending champions Louisville City FC (KO 2 p.m., OttawaFuryFC.com). Always looking to bring a bit of bite to the game, Fury FC will also be looking to impress its canine fans on this Dog Day Afternoon match.
SCOUTING LOUISVILLE CITY FC
As the first back-to-back USL Cup champion in the league’s history, Louisville City FC enters unprecedented territory in 2019. After ending 2018 on a 10-game winning streak that covered the final six games of the regular season and the USL Cup Playoffs, LouCity will enter the new season as the team everyone else is looking to take down after a remarkable run of success over its first four seasons.
Head Coach John Hackworth will have some gaps to fill in his starting lineup, however, with goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh and defender Kyle Smith both having joined former LouCity Head Coach James O’Connor at Orlando City SC in Major League Soccer. Also departed is forward Ilija Ilic to Indy Eleven after his breakout campaign, and then there’s the move of 2018 Championship Golden Boot-winner Cameron Lancaster to Nashville SC, with the English forward signing an MLS contract in the Music City a year before NSC joins the top flight. LouCity has finished in the top two in the Eastern Conference in every season of its history and there’s a strong case it will at least emulate that feat once again, despite the difficult start of the season. (via USL Championship)
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Head Coach Nikola Popovic
"It is a very important match for us. We know that we are playing the title holder and that they are a very dangerous team. I think we had a good performance against them at the start of the season. I think the scoreboard and the performance tell two very different stories. The performance tells a more real story than what the scoreboard does. I remember we created lots of chances during that game, they, of course, had a lot of chances as well, but I think it was a very even game. They are a very experienced team that is full of players with a lot of USL experience, so we expect a very difficult game, but we have good chances to win if we perform the way we want to perform.”
Midfielder Thiago De Freitas
“We have to be able to control the game at home and rely on our strengths. We have to keep on doing what we have done until now. We know that opponents we face have different playing styles and different strengths, but we have to adapt. If each player manages to give their 200%, then we will be able to get great results out of every match.”