PREVIEW | United vs. Fury FC

Ottawa looks to continue its record shutout streak against the Loons
Minnesota United Staff | Jul 10, 2015

Minnesota United returns home this Saturday to start its home Fall Season campaign at the National Sports Center Stadium. The Loons sold out every match this Spring Season, and have added 500 seats to accommodate a growing fan base.

Fans of United will be eager to see their team perform, after a difficult close to the Spring Season and a rough start to the fall. United matches up Saturday against one of the hottest teams in the NASL – Ottawa Fury FC. Fury FC has gone 616 minutes without conceding a goal and are trending upward in the NASL standings.

“Ottawa is a well-organized team,” Minnesota United head coach Manny Lagos said. “They have shown through the first third of the season that they do a good job defending and have a good team spirit and unity about them. They are at the top of the league with that aspect of their play and that’s something we need to be ready for.”


Ottawa Fury FC varies its attacking shape – pushing the ball wide and running up the field, playing the ball in and out with short passes and occasionally knocking the ball over the top to running strikers. Fury FC midfielders Siniša Ubiparipović and Richie Ryan are not afraid to strike from distance, and are accurate from 25 and 30 yards out. Expect Ottawa to line up in a 4-2-3-1 with striker Tom Heinemann holding his position at the top of the line playing as a target forward. Five different players have found the back of the net for Ottawa so far this season with 19 matches left to play.

The key to this Ottawa side is defense. The club has gone more than 600 minutes without conceding a goal, led by fantastic goalkeeping from Romuald Peiser and strong defensive play in the final third. Fury FC gets players behind the ball, but can be susceptible to the counter, pushing at times four or five players forward who don’t recover after a missed pass or turnover.


Kevin Venegas – The United standout has played both as a right defender and, recently, as a right midfielder for the Loons and captured ENU Man of the Match honors in both positions. Venegas uses his speed and quick feet to push deep into the opposing half and set up his teammates.

Richie Ryan – Ottawa welcomed its captain back last weekend after Ryan spent a significant amount of time injured. Ryan did not disappoint in his Fall Season debut, earning Player of the Week honors and helping push the pace of the match, while keeping the team organized from midfield.

Romuald Peiser – No player in the NASL is performing with better form than Ottawa Fury FC goalkeeper Romuald Peiser, who is sitting on a giant streak, not conceding a goal in six matches.


Minnesota United has won just one match of the last five played, tallying two losses in that time. It has been a difficult five-week stretch for the Loons, who will be looking to curb that trend this Saturday against Ottawa. Despite some difficult results, United defender Kevin Venegas has stood out as a rising star for the Loons – earning three ENU Man of the Match awards in four matches.

“We’re excited to see Kevin grow and get better and help the team get better,” Lagos said. “He’s a young guy who has been with us a lot of years, and he’s continuing to grow into the player he can become and continuing to help us improve.”

Venegas played outside midfield this past weekend against Carolina, breaking through the RailHawks’ defense and slotting a ball through traffic to the feet of Daniel Mendes, who finished for his first goal of the year. Since Miguel Ibarra left for Club León, Venegas has stepped up and been explosive for Minnesota United.

Ottawa has made headlines these past few weeks with its stingy defense, blocking the top scoring teams in NASL play in a six-game shutout streak. With two goals this past weekend, Fury FC fans will hope the other end of the pitch is catching up to that impressive streak. Before last weekend, Ottawa had played three matches without scoring a goal. Ottawa is the lowest scoring and lowest conceding team in the league, with seven goals scored and just eight conceded.

Our Terms and Conditions of Use have changed. By using this Site, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Use. Agree and Dismiss
Our Privacy Policy has changed. By using this Site, you agree to the Privacy Policy. Agree and Dismiss