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Match Preview: Ottawa Fury FC vs Tampa Bay Rowdies

September 17, 2019 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - Ottawa Fury FC News Release

OTTAWA - Currently on a four-game losing skid and in a tight playoff race, Ottawa Fury FC will be happy to be back in front of their own fans Wednesday night, when they take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies at TD Place Stadium.

Sitting in eighth place of the Eastern Conference standings, only three points ahead of the tenth and final playoff spot in the East, this upcoming match will be pivotal for Ottawa Fury FC, who are coming off a 2-0 loss to the Indy Eleven. They'll be taking on the third place Rowdies, who was able to defeat the Fury earlier this season at home in a very close game that ended 2-1 for Tampa Bay, setting the table for a very interesting matchup on Wednesday.


8th-place Fury is eight points behind 7th-place Louisville City FC, with a game in hand. Ottawa is being followed closely by the 9th and 10th place teams, who respectively are one and three points behind them in the standings.

Fury FC has at least one game in hand over all but two of the seven teams ahead of them in the Eastern Conference standings.

This will be the second encounter between the two teams this season. The first match at TD Place ended in a 2-1 win for Tampa Bay at home.

Fury FC's Christiano François was the team's goal scorer in this game.

Tampa Bay's record on the road this season is of 8W-3D-2L.

Fury FC has a record of 7W-4D-2L at home this season.

Fury FC's Wal Fall and Carl Haworth are both tied for the team lead in goals with eight each.

Tied for third in goals in all of the USL is Tampa Bay Rowdies forward Sebastian Guenzatti, who scored a 90th minute winner against Fury FC the last time these two sides met.


Head Coach Nikola Popovic

"I think we have to be a little bit more consistent, we have to be able to seize the moment from the first second of the game until the last to perform to the levels we have already reached this year."

"The team we are going to face is one of the best, very similar to Indy, it's not by accident that they are on top of the table. They have a very good front line with very dangerous players, so we have to be very compact in order to not give them any space because we know that those players are dangerous in one on one situations, and from the moment that we have the ball I believe we have to quality to counter that."

Goalkeeper Callum Irving

"I think we just need to have a positive attitude and fight. This is that time of the year we have to stick to our principals and the bottom line is that the effort needs to be there and we need to be able to pull each other up. When times get tougher, it's easy to get on each other and get down, but in the past few days of training we've shown good unity and positivity, so I think if we can carry that in the game it'll help us a lot."

SCOUTING TAMPA BAY ROWDIES: It's arguable there was no team that fell flatter than the Tampa Bay Rowdies in 2018. After reaching the Eastern Conference Semifinals in its first year in the league, the Rowdies entered the new campaign with additional new recruits and the belief that they would be among the leading candidates to lift the USL Cup. Instead, the side faltered to a 12th-place finish and was eliminated from postseason contention before the final weekend of the regular season.

This year, among the new faces in Tampa Bay are goalkeeper John McCarthy, who claimed the Championship's Rookie and Goalkeeper of the year awards in 2014 before spending the past four seasons with the Philadelphia Union. Also joining the club are midfielders Zach Steinberger and Andrew Tinari, who proved among the best chance creators in the league last season. With Leo Fernandes, Sebastian Guenzatti and Kwadwo Poku returning to the side, the Rowdies on paper look to be contenders again, but there won't be anything taken for granted this time around.

(via USL Championship).



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