Sports

BEAUTIFUL GAME: Ottawa Fury enjoy great road trip

By Phil Cottrell, Daily Observer

Generic soccer photo

Generic soccer photo

Ottawa Fury FC has returned from a highly successful three-game road trip. Five points from these three games would have been satisfactory, but they came away with a full nine points. Leaving aside all the significant travel involved, it is not easy playing away from home in this league.

In their first match on the road Fury FC scored a pivotal win over the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, currently one of the hottest teams in the league, thanks to a second-half surge led by Sinisa Ubiparipovic. The veteran midfielder setup the opening goal and scored the insurance marker with less than 10 minutes to go.

The North American Soccer League (NASL) named Ubiparipovic NASL Player of the Week.

Ottawa then continued on its road trip into New York to face the famed New York Cosmos. It was a stupendous performance with the Fury coming away with an amazing 4-1 victory. It was counter attacking football at it's best. The supporters back in Ottawa watching at the Heart and Crown Pub must have gone wild. Paulo Junior put in a couple of pretty goals. True, Peiser in goal for the Fury was heroic because at times Ottawa's defense looked a little wobbly against the Cosmos's onslaught. Nevertheless, a terrific result.

Fury FC's last match on the road before returning to Ottawa was against the Carolina Railhawks. It was a near perfect first half that ensured Ottawa's sweep of this three-game road trip as they downed Carolina 3-1. Tom Heinemann scored his team leading sixth and seventh goals of the season, 14 minutes apart and Paulo Junior tallied his third in two matches to pace Ottawa to a three-goal advantage at halftime. The North American Soccer League named Heinemann NASL Player of the Week.

Ottawa Fury FC now claim top spot in the NASL Combined Standings (Spring and Fall seasons) over the New York Cosmos and remain five points ahead of Minnesota United in the race for the Fall Season Championship.  

The Fury return to TD Place to prepare for another chapter in the All-Canadian derby facing FC Edmonton tomorrow, Sunday, Oct. 4 at 3 p.m. As Edmonton is also on a wining streak this should be a good game.

Streaming  

Ottawa Fury FC away games can be watched by going to OttawaFuryFC.com, and clicking on the "watch live stream" link on game day. I bring it up on my Mac computer and then through Apple TV to watch it on the big screen. The video quality is really quite good. The feed is through Rogers and Dan Mooney and Gord Smith provide an excellent commentary and good technical analysis. Stephen O' Kane also does a good commentary on some matches.

If Wales can do it, why not Canada?

Wales has entered the top 10 of the FIFA world rankings for the first time in its history and is now just one place below England.

Wales climbed 12 places from 22nd to 10th in the July rankings after beating Belgium to move to the brink of qualification for the European Championships next summer.

Wales were ranked a lowly 117th in August 2011 but they have enjoyed a dramatic rise ever since and now stand above France, Italy and Spain as well as the newly-crowned South American champions Chile.

Canada currently sits at 103rd in the World FIFA rankings and recent results at the International level will not result in immediate improvement in that position for us. 

More problems at FIFA HQ

FIFA has banned former vice-president, Jack Warner, from all football activities for life after "various acts of misconduct" related to the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch confirmed the ongoing investigation into corruption allegations levied against FIFA will be expanded, with further charges against "individuals and ... entities" considered. The investigation has now reached the President Sepp Blatter. Good. 

FIFA's secretary general, Jerome Valcke, was indefinitely relieved of his duties after allegations that he aimed to profit from selling World Cup tickets above face value.

What a circus!

Football or soccer?

Marcus Mariota is about to start what he hopes will be a long NFL career, but it could have been another type of football where he made his name. The Hawaiian native's first love was soccer, and he credits the game for helping him to develop into a Heisman Trophy winner with the Oregon Ducks. He says, "I think soccer is a great fundamental sport. I think it built a foundation for me as an athlete.  Whether that's my footwork now, or relative to just kind of seeing the field and instincts. Soccer is just such a game where you have to understand the complexities and the system of what's going on, and you have to know that before you get the ball. And once you get the ball, you have to react. I think that has helped my growth not only as a football player but as an athlete."

Vancouver Whitecaps

Vancouver Whitecaps FC of Major League Soccer have announced a partnership with British Columbia Children's Hospital Foundation that will see $1 million raised through the club's 50/50 program and other charitable events and initiatives in the next five years.

In each year of the partnership, funds raised by Whitecaps FC will be used to support initiatives that enhance the comfort and wellness of BC Children's Hospital patients.

The Ottawa Sun

The Ottawa Sun does an excellent job of reporting soccer, including, particularly,   the Ottawa Fury FC. They have comprehensive pregame analysis of the Fury and their opponents on game day and also excellent write ups after the match. I'm puzzled as to why with crowds of 6,000, other print media sadly does not follow suite. For the last home game, the Sun produced an excellent 12-page soccer supplement. Unfortunately even our TV channels seem to go out of their way not to report on soccer including the huge crowds for Toronto FC (30,000) at BMO stadium. There does seem to be an odd, lingering, anti-soccer bias, which is pretty inexcusable in 2015. Well if some of those organizations are doing this with their sports, you have to wonder what they might be doing with the regular news of the day, which is why it is a good idea to check out other sources from time to time!

Quote

"It's totally different in England, it rains a lot. In Portugal you can stroll in the afternoon, with the heat, we can be out until eight in the evening. In England, at three in the afternoon, it's raining, it's too dark, we have to stay home and turn on the light." It sounds like Eliaquim Mangala may not be enjoying life so much in Manchester. He probably likes the big fat salary that Manchester City FC is paying him though.

Some rather odd actual quotes

"My parents have been there for me, ever since I was about seven." - David Beckham

"I would not be bothered if we lost every game as long as we won the league." - Mark Viduka (Captain of the Australian national team, the Socceroos)

"We lost because we didn't win." - Ronaldo

"If you don't believe you can win, there is no point in getting out of bed at the end of the day." - Neville Southall (Welsh international and a really great goalkeeper)

Soccer on the radio - The Corner Kicks show

TSN 1200 radio features a great soccer show called Corner Kicks on Monday nights at 6 p.m. (although occasionally it can get changed to another night.) Ottawa Fury's Graeme Ivory and Richard  Starnes of the Ottawa Citizen talk soccer from the local scene all the way through to to the international leagues. These guys really know their stuff. There are often some interesting and very knowledgeable guests on the show. You can tune in to AM 1200, which unfortunately can be  pretty scratchy up here in the Valley. Better still you can download the Bell media app and listen to them over the internet, and better even still, go through the Tune In radio app where you can record the show. It's definitely worth listening to, and a great way of keeping up with all the soccer news. Even yours truly has been on the show!

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. And be part of the soccer fan base world wide, 3.5 billion and counting! Also...support local soccer! If you have any comments on the beautiful game please contact me at cottrell@nrtco.net, or call 613-587-4856.