Former Fury striker Tucker Hume will be wearing Gold.
Eddie Benhin from 613 Sports drops by to give us the deets in Ottawa Fury in our Q&A.
For Club and Country: This team was very strong defensively last year, but a lot of that revolved around the individual brilliance of keeper Maxime Crepeau. With him heading back to MLS, are they expected to have the same defense-first philosophy?
613 Sports: Less of that mentality. Popovic wants to aim towards a possession and passing philosophy with Ward as anchor, and Fall supporting this. with additional offence with Oliveira and François up front. Haworth is also moved back to the front to support that effort.
FCAC: Most USL teams have played 3-4 games already, but the Fury only have two under their belts. Is there a bit of anxiousness to get the season going (especially with MLS clubs even deeper into their seasons)?
613S: Lots of anxiousness I think, not only because of the break, but also because of the inability to practice outside during that time. Two weeks of break was long, even though they played friendlies outside the city (TFC) and on indoors facility against Div 3 team. They were happy to find back TD Place on Thursday for the first practice there.
FCAC: I think just about everyone saw the snow-covered TD Place in pictures last week. Is it still supposed to be cold (and potentially snowy) in Ontario this weekend? Does that play into the team’s strengths if so?
613S: Weather has been a pain in Ottawa this winter, and there will be again light snow tonight, pretty cold tomorrow, but nice weather for the game. It may have played on foreign players minds, but Europeans have the habit of that weather during their winters. I think the winter has had an impact on practices only.
FCAC: What are the expectations for the team after just missing the playoffs last year?
613S: Very high expectations. Nothing less than playoffs for sure. The sanctioning issue and the CPL has a lot to do with it for sure. Undoubtedly, Fury has lost some fans due to not joining the CPL, so there is (I think) a strong willingness to prove themselves in the USL and go in the playoffs. Management (JDG) is clear about that, and so has been the captain, Carl Haworth today. This will also play in the Canadian Championship games later in the summer, as the first opponent will be a CPL club (or a Div 3 club if they win in the first rounds).
FCAC: What do you expect to see in this specific game? Have a final score prediction?
613S: I expect to see a battle to control the tempo through the possession. Team recognizes that Nashville is a very strong opponent, packed team with a very strong offense. Mistakes can cost a lot, so Fury will try to maintain advantage in possession; a bit like NYRBII have done. I think this is a defining game for Fury’s season. I’ll go for a 1-1 result.
Many thanks to Eddie for his time. Make sure to check him out @613_Sports on Twitter.