PREVIEW | Fury FC And Indy Enter The Weekend On Unbeaten Runs

Ottawa (seven) and Indy (five) look to extend their unbeaten runs
Ottawa Fury FC Staff | Jul 17, 2015

Two of the NASL’s hottest teams meet at TD Place Sunday afternoon with a chance to claim first place in the NASL Fall Season standings. Undefeated in their last seven, Fury FC open a crucial three-game home stand against Indy Eleven, who has a five-game unbeaten run that the club is looking to extend. In fact, Indy’s last loss came May 23 at TD Place when Nicki Paterson’s late strike stole all three points for Fury FC.

“Our group has grown a lot and we are all motivated and determined to do even better,” head coach Marc Dos Santos said ahead of Sunday’s tilt with Indy. “We know Indy very well. It’s a team that has grown a lot in the league, got better with time, and this is why they are unbeaten in their last 5 games. This will be another great challenge that will require a lot of hard work and commitment to get all three points.”

After Minnesota ended Ottawa’s league-record shutout streak last Saturday at 648 minutes, Fury FC responded well in the second half earning a hard-fought point that has helped Fury FC in the NASL standings. Despite the blemish on the scoreboard, Ottawa’s defense remained sturdy and will again face an opponent that boasts several offensive threats, including newcomer Dane Richards, who has joined Indy Eleven on loan from the New York Red Bulls.

Possession is expected to be a key factor in Sunday’s match. Whichever side is able to hold more possession and dictate the tempo of the match is sure to produce more of the chances. For Indy, Dylan Mares is the midfield engine and should be a focal point for Ottawa’s defensive game. For Fury FC, captain Richie Ryan will make his third straight start and continues to prove why he is one of the best at his position in the NASL with his composure on the ball and pass accuracy.

“Our defense has been rock solid giving us a chance to win every game,” said Tom Heinemann, who has scored in back-to-back games and was named to the NASL Team of the Week this past week. “Now that we’re converting our chances better, we’re seeing results in our favor, including a big point on the road last weekend in Minnesota.”

If Ottawa continues to find the back of the net on a consistent basis, the series of home games should pay off dividends for the club that hasn’t conceded at home since April 25 against Fort Lauderdale, some 360 minutes ago, that also includes the 1-0 shutout over Indy Eleven.

“We continue to build on our successes from the Spring Season and that’s being a very compact team,” defender Mason Trafford said. “I think ‘team’ is the key word. What we’ve been building last year is really coming together in year two. We’re willing to die for each other and that shows on the pitch.”

Goalkeeper Romuald Peiser already has a pair of NASL records under his belt this season. On Sunday, he’ll set a club record for most consecutive games played making his 28th straight start passing Mason Trafford, who played in all 27 matches in 2014.

While there are plenty of games still to be played, this home stretch could go a long way in defining Ottawa’s season.

“Four of our first five games of the Fall Season are played at TD Place. It is very important to get a good start if we want to be in the top four of the NASL when November comes,” Dos Santos said. “The league is so equal and so competitive that you have to be good when you play in your stadium and in front of your fans. We started off well, but we still have a lot to accomplish.”

Julian de Guzman has returned to the squad following Canada’s early exit from the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which comes at a welcomed time with Nicki Paterson out for the season and Sinisa Ubiparipovic day-to-day with a groin injury.

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