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Match Preview | Fury FC at North Carolina FC

By Ottawa Fury FC, 06/12/18, 3:00PM EDT


Ottawa Fury FC will look to continue their resurgence when they take on North Carolina FC in a mid-week battle this Wednesday.

North Carolina FC v Ottawa Fury FC
Kickoff: Wednesday, June 13 – 7:00 p.m. – WakeMed Soccer Park
USL Standings: Click Here

LIVE STREAM: | USL Match Centre

Match Notes: NC v OTT 6.13.18 | North Carolina FC Match Notes
Fury FC Media Guide
USL Media Guide

OTTAWA - Ottawa Fury FC will look to continue their resurgence when they take on North Carolina FC in a mid-week battle this Wednesday. The Ottawa side had their six-game unbeaten run broken when they lost to Charlotte Independence in their last game. But that loss will not have dented the confidence in the Fury FC dressing room as they set forth on a five-game road trip.

Fury FC’s 1-0 loss to the Independence was the first time that the team had conceded a goal after six consecutive clean sheets. The Ottawa side is continuing to improve as a unit and put on a strong display in their last game. That it took a deflected goal to break down their defences speaks about the solidity that Fury FC have displayed in their recent games. The offence too put in the hard yards but couldn’t convert their advantage into goals. Fury FC had 14 shots at the opposition’s goal out of which four were on target. In comparison, the Independence had seven shots and just one on target.

The Ottawa side will be eager to put this loss behind them and get back to clean sheets and winning ways. They will be up against a team that is going through a bit of a slump. While Fury FC are 3W-1D-1L in their last five games, North Carolina have lost three out of their last five USL games. The team from Cary, North Carolina didn’t have the best of starts to the season. They lost three consecutive games but then bounced back with a four-game unbeaten streak. But then they went on a downward spiral again and have lost their last three consecutive games (including the US Open Cup games). This sine wave pattern performance has seen North Carolina drop to 14th in the Eastern Conference, three positions below Fury FC. 

This will be the second meeting between these two sides this season and it will be a stark contrast to when these two sides met first. At that time, Fury FC was a team that had suffered three consecutive losses, had conceded 10 goals in those games and still to find their footing. That game ended in a 1-1 draw and since then Fury FC has delivered one resilient performance after another. In the eight games played since, Fury FC have a 4W-2D-2L record. 

The Ottawa side will still have to be wary about North Carolina though. These familiar rivals have met each other 10 times before with Fury FC having a 4W-3D-3L record. North Carolina striker Daniel Rios poses a big threat for Fury FC, having scored five goals already this season. Canadian midfielder Kyle Bekker is another player who Fury FC will have to keep a close eye on. The team has scored 14 goals, but have also conceded 15.

The last time Fury FC went on a lengthy away trip, they returned empty handed. But the team that takes to the road this time around is different. The players are the same but now there’s confidence and belief in themselves and in their teammates. They will be expecting to grab points and continue their rise in the standings.

Fans can follow Fury FC on their road trip by watching live on by following the team’s official Twitter account @OTTAWAFURYFC.


Head Coach Nikola Popovic
“We’re in a good moment now. It’s going to be a very important test for us. Six out of our next seven games are on the road. It’s a very good opportunity to see if this team is ready for such a difficult test.”

On the opposition… “They’re a very difficult team. They are a team who can play very well. (Kyle) Bekker is a fantastic player and he runs the show over there and he will put us in a very difficult position if we allow him to play. They’re a team that’s very good when attacking, very well-balanced and keeps good possession of the ball. They’re going to be a tough opponent for us.” 

Forward Carl Haworth
On the five-game road trip…
 “Nothing really changes for us. We won’t be playing here and we’ll be training away for a while but we stick to the basics and the fundamentals of the system and the style of play that we have created and have become so good over the last six to seven games. We have to stay organised, keep it compact, look to create chances on the counter attack and hopefully keep this run of good form going.”

On Fury FC’s current form creating pressure… “It’s definitely an inspiration. You want to be the team that is coming out of confidence and expected to get that result. You thrive off that pressure. That’s something that we have created now. If you look back at the couple of games early on, the results didn’t go our way but then came the performances against Pittsburgh [Riverhounds SC] and [FC] Cincinnati. That’s when things started to turn for us. We have worked hard every single day. This team is too good to be one of those teams to be losing 4-0 or 5-1. We have grown in confidence from this run of form that we have had but it’s time to dig deep and get another run going.”   

Defender Colin Falvey
On his experience helping the team during away games… “The good thing is that not just myself but we have got a few guys who have been around in the league and are experienced. It’s everybody’s job to make sure that during the difficult times in the game or when you’re under a bit of pressure; those are the moments where we need to be vocal, manage the game and slow the game down. The second part is mentality. We have to try to be strong and make sure that we don’t use as an excuse that we played just three days ago. We will try to get back as many points as possible but we will take it one game at a time. Hopefully, we will get off to a good start.”

Home game vs an away game… “The biggest issue when it comes to home and away games is that the onus is on the home team to attack a little bit more and that can cause problems in your system that you might normally play at your place. You will see midfielders and full backs becoming more adventurous and this changes your dynamic also. That’s why it’s always more difficult on the road. We’re much more prepared for this road trip as compared to be beginning of the season because back then we were still trying to figure out the system, figure out the best team and even the players were trying to figure out each other. So we’re definitely more prepared this time around. I expect us to come back with some positive results for sure.”

On Fury FC’s form putting pressure on the players… “I don’t think it adds pressure because we’re a good honest group. We believe in our ability, we believe in the system, we believe right now that we’ve definitely got some great results against some of the best footballing teams in the league. The confidence is there to go and get the job done.”  

Referee: Guido GONZALES
Assistants: Jordan DAVIS and Jeremy L.B. SMITH
Fourth Official: Hicham EL BARIQI