Ottawa Looks to Clinch Top Seed in Postseason with Result in Regular Season Finale against Atlanta
OTTAWA, ON (October 30, 2015) - An improbable regular season draws to a close for Ottawa Fury FC Saturday afternoon quite fittingly against an Atlanta side that Fury FC defeated on July 22 at TD Place claiming first place in the Fall Season standings - a position that was never relinquished by the second-year club.
The focus 101 days later remains on first place, but this time in the combined standings as Fury FC look to claim the top overall seed heading into The Championship - the NASL's four-team postseason tournament.
"Atlanta will challenge us in a lot of ways. It's a very difficult place to play and they have shown throughout the fall season what they are capable of," said head coach Marc Dos Santos. "This is an important game that could seed us number 1 or number 2 in the combine season. We must be ready, focused and determined if we want to finish number 1."
While Ottawa's Fall Season Championship has earned them a Championship Semifinal date on November 8 at TD Place, finish as the top seed would do two things: 1) provide home field advantage throughout the entire postseason; and 2) see them host the fourth seeded club (Tampa Bay or Fort Lauderdale) as opposed to the third seeded Minnesota United FC.
What it boils down to is two points. Two points won by Ottawa (win) or lost by New York (loss or draw) and first place in the combined table will belong to the Fall Season Champions. New York host the Tampa Bay Rowdies Saturday night who need a win to claim the fourth and final postseason position. An Ottawa draw could also get the job done, but would need to see them own the goal difference tie-breaker over the Cosmos (which Ottawa currently holds)
The Silverbacks have put together an impressive season, especially their fall campaign that had them in the postseason hunt until their recent struggles that has seen them go winless in their last five and not score in three straight. Gary Smith and company turned the Silverbacks around after a last-place finish in the Spring Season so expect plenty of pride for the Silverbacks in the regular season finale.
Goalkeeper Marcel DeBellis had a smile plastered on his face all week at training as Romuald Peiser's understudy is set to make his much anticipated debut. The start will end Peiser's run of 44-consecutive starts where he has established a record of 19W-14D-11L with 17 shutouts conceding only 42 goals. Falvey and Richter will keep their iron streaks going - both have played every minute of every match this season.
Fury FC have made good on their goal of making TD Place a fortress in 2015, but even more impressive is what they have done on the road. In the midst of an NASL record 11-match road unbeaten streak, Fury FC have proven focus, effective and efficient away from home where they have outscored the opposition 20-6 during this streak.
With just a single loss in their last 24-matches (14W-9D-1L), Ottawa will look to put their second 12-match unbeaten streak together with a result in Atlanta on Saturday.
Captain Richie Ryan continues his return from injury and is expected to be ready for the Championship Semifinal. Ottawa will also be without midfielder Mauro Eustaquio who serves a one-match suspension for yellow card accumulation (5).
Following Saturday's clash in Atlanta the focus will shift to next Sunday's Championship Semifinal at TD Place (November 8) at 3:00pm. Fans can purchase tickets to the Championship Semifinal and Final at OttawaFuryFC.com where they call also renew or buy Season Tickets for 2016.
Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Assistants: Brandon Adams and Anthony Remensnyder
Fourth Official: Guido Gonzales Jr.
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North American Soccer League Stories from October 30, 2015
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- Regular Season Comes to Thrilling Conclusion with Seeds up for Grabs - NASL
- Ottawa Looks to Clinch Top Seed in Postseason with Result in Regular Season Finale against Atlanta - Ottawa Fury FC
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