Kickoff: 3PM, Sat. May 23rd
Location: TD Place Stadium (Ottawa)
Referee: Mathieu Bourdeau
TV: ottawafuryfc.com (Stream)
Radio: TSN 1200 (English) // 94.5 Unique FM (French)
A surprisingly confident Ottawa Fury FC are set to host out-of-form Indy Eleven in a battle of two of the NASL’s cellar-dwellars. It’s been a disappointing start to 2015 for both clubs, as Fury FC sit anchored to the bottom of the NASL with five of a possible eighteen points, with Indy just one point above them.
The good news for both sides in this weekend’s matchup is that, despite their respective poor starts, neither is that far off the postseason pace in the 11-team league. Moneyed Minnesota United FC currently sits in fourth place, effectively the final playoff spot, three points ahead of Indy and four points ahead of Ottawa.
Despite sitting dead last in the NASL, Fury FC are confident heading into this weekend’s date with Indy.
“I’ll tell you this, Saturday at 6 (p.m.), we’re in the top five, six in the league,” Ottawa boss Marc Dos Santos told the Ottawa Sun on Tuesday.
The optimistically bold statement from Dos Santos essentially guarantees a win against an Indy team which also has just one win from its first six league matches. However, Ottawa would need results elsewhere to go their way in order to finish the weekend in fifth or sixth.
The Fury faithful received positive news on Friday morning, as Marc Dos Santos told local media that captain Richie Ryan is finally close enough to full match fitness to feature on the team’s subs bench. Ryan’s absence has hindered the team in the midfield, where the likes of Drew Beckie, Brandon Poltronieri, and Patryk Misik have all featured more than most pundits believed they would have early in the season due to Ryan’s leg injury.
Ottawa strikers Tom Heinemann and Andrew Wiedeman are both dealing with niggling injuries, with Heinemann believed to be closer to full fitness. Regardless, agile winger Carl Haworth will slot into Dos Santos’ XI up top.
Also out is unlucky Brazilian winger Oliver, who after a productive 2014 campaign has seen his 2015 season derailed early by injury.
Predicted XI: Peiser (GK), Trafford, Falvey, Alves, Richter, De Guzman, Beckie, Ubiparipovic, Paulo Júnior, Haworth, Poltronieri.
Saturday’s match is terribly difficult to predict; Ottawa hasn’t played a competitive match in two weeks, while Indy has slid down the NASL table during the same time.
Brian Brown presents the kind of dual threat that has caused Ottawa’s defensive core issues in 2015. The Jamaican forward, on loan from Harbour View F.C., has netted once in three appearances for Juergen Sommer’s Indy side, and is both an aerial and speed threat.
Honestly, neither of these teams screams ‘decisive victory’ to me. Ottawa may have taken six of nine points off of Indy in 2014, but the Eleven got the last laugh late in the 2014 season when they stunned Ottawa with a win at TD Place.
I’ve got this down as a 1-1 or 0-0 draw. Perhaps a late winner for one of the two teams, but a close affair on Saturday afternoon.
Main Photo courtesy of NASL.com