PREVIEW | Fury FC vs. Armada FC

Ottawa looks to extend record shutout streak
Fury FC Staff | Jul 5, 2015

Ottawa Fury FC begin the second half of the NASL calendar within striking distance of the NASL post-season. Just three points separates Ottawa from the club's goal of reaching the playoffs and 'striking' could very well be the determining factor of the team's success in the NASL Fall Season.

"We learned a lot about ourselves in the Spring Season," said Head Coach Marc Dos Santos. "Defensively we are a very strong team and extremely difficult to break down. This gives us a chance to win every game."

Sporting the League's best defensive record, Fury FC set a few NASL records in the Spring Season and will look to extend a pair of league-bests as the open the Fall Season owning a shutout streak of 5 straight games and 526 consecutive minutes without conceding a goal.

Their defensive prowess was on display when they faced Jacksonville for the first time on June 7 as the two sides played to a 0-0 draw. While the Armada owned the lion's share of possession, Ottawa's backline seemed almost impenetrable and despite Pascal Millien missing this Sunday's game for Jacksonville, expect a pair of veteran snipers in Jemal Johnson and Alhassane Keita to more than make up for his absence.

While a tightly contest affair is almost a certainty on Sunday, the opposition could prove ripe for the picking to have Fury FC get their offence going. Jacksonville took the NASL by storm to start their inaugural campaign winning three of their first five games. Since then, the Armada have been outscored 11-6 and are winless in their last five going 0-3-2 (W-D-L).

"We are excited and ready to come back to play," added Dos Santos. "Our team did a lot of good things in the Spring Season and we know what we have to improve on. Jacksonville is a team with a very strong identity. They are very dangerous offensively and we will have to be ready for the challenge."

With captain Richie Ryan returning to the line-up, Phil Davies back in action and Tom Heinemann and Oliver returning to full health over the mid-season break, Fury FC find themselves in a more favourable position than in their injury-plagued Spring Season where they were missing at least 2-3 players on a weekly basis to injury. Newcomer Aly Hassan won't make his debut until next Saturday in Minnesota as the striker waits for the international transfer window to open, but expect this addition to help spark the offence.

Ottawa will however be without the services of Nicki Paterson who will miss the duration of the season with a torn ACL and fellow midfielder Julian De Guzman will also miss the next few games as he captain's the Canadian Men's National Team at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

One of the biggest advantage Fury FC have going for them is TD Place. Seven of their next ten games come at TD Place where they were 2-2-1 (W-D-L) in the Spring Season. If Ottawa can ride the wave of home field advantage they should position themselves well heading into the home stretch in fall months.

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