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Philadelphia Fury fall in American Soccer League spring opener

The Philadelphia Fury opened up the spring season of the American Soccer League with loss to the Evergreen Diplomats on Saturday.

Rich Ransom

A goal from Evergreen's Brian Davis in the 45th minute gave them a lead they would hold until the final whistle. Playing with a depleted roster, the Fury's offense continually tested the Evergreen defense, but was unable to get through the line led by Joel Musa. When Fury forwards Ansger Otto and Nick Von Egypt were able to get shots on target, Evergreen keeper Tony Halterman was there to meet them.

"It's back to the drawing board. Learning one step at a time," said head coach Cris Vaccaro. "Then applying it in training and just keep working."

"We didn't play our game going forward due to their high pressure," said Captain Josh Danza. "But going forward we'll learn from our mistakes and definitely play our game."

An important part of the match was in the 89th minute when Otto appeared to be tripped by the Evergreen keeper Halterman in the box. The referee called for a penalty kick to be taken, but after consulting with the linesman, the referee changed the decision and gave Otto a yellow card for simulation.

"I was ready to score a goal. I wanted to equalize," said Otto. "They said I dived. That's not me."

The Fury's next match will be against sister club the AC Crusaders in the Soccer Factory Derby on April 26 in Egg Harbor Township.