Match: Ottawa Fury FC vs Bethlehem Steel FC
Date: Saturday, August 5th
Time: 7:00 p.m. Eastern, 6:00 p.m. Central, 4:00 p.m. Pacific, 11:00 p.m. UTC
Venue: Stadium at TD Place (Ottawa, Ont.)
Refs: Chosen by CSA who don’t release it.
Steel all time vs Fury (W-L-D): 0-0-1
What Ottawa will look like: After dominating their neighbors (neighbours?) last weekend, the Fury are looking for another big performance at home against a Bethlehem team that just got lit up by Charlotte. Ottawa literally bossed Toronto FC II in their last game, largely in part thanks to some good distribution and a practical firing squad in front of the Junior Reds net. Ottawa put 27 shots (five on target) on Toronto, with 15 corners on the night. Azake Luboyera found the first goal and then Sito Seoane did this.
Ottawa has had some problems with scoring consistently this season, but for what it’s worth, they have two of the Goal of the Year nominees this year.
Lance Rozeboom and Callum Irving are the two names you need to know for Ottawa, with Irving being an incredibly consistent keeper and Rozeboom pulling the strings from the midfield. Fringe Canadian National Team members Eddie Edward and Carl Haworth are also in the mix, and will surely get time for their club this weekend.
What Steel will look like: The good news is that teams that have gotten stomped by Charlotte have bounced back before. Rochester got smoked and then went on an eight game unbeaten run. Bethlehem needs to figure out a lot of things, but figuring out a defense against a streaky team that lives for set pieces is as good a time as any. Brendan Burke midweek admitted that rotation is going to factor in at some point (as far as the USL guys he has full control over is concerned), but looked at the game in Charlotte on the 16th as a chance to do that. That being said, they’ll need Hugh Roberts and Auston Trusty to anchor the defense with Matt Real and Matt Mahoney out wide. That’s the best four they have available this week, and I’m not concerned about the offense. Look for Seku Conneh to continue his good season, and Santi Moar and Chris Nanco to build on a solid showing against Charlotte.
Prediction: I trust Steel’s offense more than Ottawa’s, even with that home field advantage. Bethlehem get a big win and keep Ottawa out of the playoff spots with a convincing 3-1 victory.