As the Philadelphia Fury go into their home opener this Saturday against Icon FC, the team hopes to get past their Derby Day defeat to the AC Crusaders from last Saturday. I spoke to General Manager of both the Fury and the Crusaders Graham Charters about what's in store for both teams.
1. What are the Fury looking to do differently in their upcoming match against Icon FC?
Graham Charter (GC): Firstly, the team is looking to achieve a positive result in our first home game of the season. We know that we cannot afford to concede 6 goals again and I am sure this time we will be working together in building a stronger defensive unit.
2. How will they look to rebound from a gutting 6-5 loss?
GC: By being positive and using this as an opportunity to show that last week was a one off and we are still confident in what we believe in.
3. What does the team have in store for their inaugural home match? What are they doing to try and draw fans especially since the Union have a bye this weekend?
GC: We have been promoting this game for a while and we have lots in store for the fans! We have been in at the local soccer clubs to really promote the game and try to engineer as much home support as we possibly can. With the Union not playing, it will give young local soccer players the chance to see the opportunities available within the game.
4. Has defense been the main item worked in training?
GC: Not particularly, no. You cannot just do episodic training based on one result. That game could be played 100 times and it is almost certain that the result will not be 6-5! We have been working on many different components that we believe will see us be successful! Not just on Saturday, but over the course of the season.
5. Will Emmanuel Gomez play this weekend? He was kept out of the last match due to injury. Is he cleared to play?
GC: Gomez is still out with a minor knock. Nothing too serious, but we are not going to risk him. It's important that we slowly work him back and not rush him.
6. Head Coach Matt Driver said after the match players would be released. Did this happen?
GC: Yes, we released Kenneth Arce; we feel that this is the best decision for both parties. Kenneth is a tremendous player and a great young man, however our style of play does not suit his game and it is not fair on him to be forced to change his game. We are certain he will find a decent club in the near future.
7. As for the Crusaders, how has been the mood in training since the shock win last weekend?
GC: As you can imagine the Technical Staff and Players have been very positive. You use the word shock, and maybe from the outside it can be seen that way, but within the camp, the players fully believed that they would win. They have a tremendous togetherness and desire to be successful.
8. Whats the plan for the team when they go on the road against the Evergreen Diplomats?
GC: Well we must not become complacent. Every week a new challenge presents itself and I believe that all we are looking to do is keep our beliefs and our desire to be successful. Evergreen is a tough place to go and we know that we must be strong if we are to be successful.
The Fury will have their highly anticipated home opener this Saturday at Washington Township High School in Washington Township, NJ against Icon FC.
The Crusaders meanwhile travel to Maryland to play the Evergreen Diplomats at Marin F. Wilson Stadium at the PG County Sportsplex in Hyattsville, Maryland. Both games start at 7pm.