Hell hath no Fury like that from Ottawa 0
It has been a great season for both the Ottawa Fury men and women’s teams.
Although they won their division, the men’s team unfortunately ended their quest for a conference championship after losing out to the Carolina Dynamo. The loss devastated the Fury players and the coaching staff who nevertheless should be proud of their accomplishment of returning the Fury Men back to being one of the elite teams in their league, after a disappointing 2011 season with only five wins. A 10-3-3 regular season, an unbeaten home record and a division championship remain just three of many highlights of their 2012 campaign.
The women also were divisional champions and now will be in the final four of the W league championship. The action takes place on Sunday, July 29 at the Algonquin College soccer complex, off Woodroffe Avenue in Ottawa, when the Fury women will battle it out against the eastern conference winners DC United, the Central divisional winners, Québec City, and the western winners, Palli Blue of California. After the semifinals on Friday, the third place game is on Sunday at 1 p.m. and the final is at 4 p.m. These are matches that are not to be missed. Soccer fans should get down to the games and cheer on the Fury women.
Founded in 2000, the Ottawa Fury Soccer Club has evolved from a single women’s team to adding a Men’s PDL (Premier Development League) team, a Professional Development Academy (U17-U20), a Youth Development Academy (U13-U16), a Prospects Program (U9-U12), grassroots soccer skills programs and community programs. The club is currently a member of the United Soccer Leagues (USL) playing in its W-League, (Women’s league) Premier Development League (PDL) and Super Y-League (SYL). For additional information see the Fury website at www.ottawafury.com.
It was TFC vs. LFC, or more correctly Toronto Football Club against the legendary Liverpool Football Club. However, among the absentees from the Liverpool lineup were Captain Steven Gerrard and England teammates Andy Carroll and Glen Johnson, who sat out because of some obscure rules related to rest following international tournaments, as the club began its pre-season North American tour under new manager Brendan Rodgers.
Personally, with the reality of watching a very second level squad, I would have wanted my money back, but MLSE (Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment) obviously saw a great opportunity to sell some 33,000 tickets to the Rogers Centre to watch essentially a second string Liverpool squad take to the field.
This was essentially ignored by most of our so-called sports media writers. To their credit, Toronto FC responded by putting out, mostly in the second half, a whole bunch of rookies and academy players, plus others players coming off injuries. At that point in time, TFC rested pretty much all its top players.
TFC nearly pulled off a win, they deserved to do so, yet Liverpool equalized to make the score a 1-1 tie.
And so to all you Liverpool fans, many of you in new jerseys, chanting and singing songs beginning in the warm-ups, including a stirring rendition of the club’s anthem, “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” why don’t you now get out and support your home team, Toronto, and help make soccer the biggest sport in North America?
And all that being said, there is definitely some significant improvement in Toronto FC’s performance under their new coach, Paul Mariner. They are not afraid to move the ball up the field more aggressively and seem to generally have a greater spring in their step.
Julian De Guzman is gone. He never seemed to live up to expectations, with his reported $900,000 yearly salary. His leaving will free up an opportunity for another designated player.
Soolsma is also out, and although he showed flashes of brilliance, he held on to the ball for far too long, only to lose it eventually to a defender.
And what a contrast in coaching styles! The previous coach, Aaron Winter, stayed still and emotionless as a statue on the sidelines, whereas Paul Mariner jumps around, runs up and down often gesticulating wildly. I love it!
However on a sad note, Toronto FC announced that forward and designated player Danny Koevermans will undergo surgery to address a torn ACL in his left knee. The date of the surgery has yet to be determined. He will be out of the lineup for the remainder of the 2012 Major League Soccer (MLS) season. He sustained the injury in the first half of the match against the New England Revolution.
Yankee Stadium may be one of the baseball cathedrals in the United States, but on Sunday last it played home to a soccer friendly that entertained and, quite possibly, surprised.
A crowd of 38,202 fans attended the first-ever soccer match inside of Yankee Stadium, and they witnessed an open, 1-1 draw between Europeans Club Champions League winners Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain. Most of the fans cheered for Chelsea and were wearing their royal blue jerseys, making for scenes that likely resemble what Stamford Bridge, the home ground of Chelsea in London, is like during the English league Premiership campaign.
John Terry ran onto the field in the 63rd minute, back in his familiar blue Chelsea uniform instead of a business suit. Thousands of Blues supporters behind the first-base dugout rose to their feet and cheered. Nine days after his acquittal in London on racism charges, he was given a warm welcome back from his club’s fans.
“It’s a brilliant support for us,” Frank Lampard, the captain of Chelsea told reporters after the match. “We’ve had it all over the [United States] the last few times we’ve been here and today no different. In the streets, outside our hotel, great support. And in the stadium today, singing and supporting us.
“When you come this far away to a country that’s not supposed to be so into soccer and you see the support that’s growing here, it’s nice to see.”
Remember, whatever your sport, to win the game is great, to play the game is greater, but to love the game is the greatest of all.
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