Note: This isn’t a proper game review, for actual game reviews please read Kendra’s, the official NASL.com’s, Neil Morris’ (Carolina perspective) and/or you can watch it your dammed self via YouTube, minus the first 13 minutes and most of the 69th minute, of course.
After an event-filled, controversial and disappointing 3:1 loss in Carolina to begin the NASL 2015 season for the Ottawa Fury FC, I look back at what should/could have been different had the Fury coaching staff and players read these thoughts before kickoff last Saturday afternoon.
Don’t be Injured
This goes without saying, but if you want to contribute to the team and its success, don’t be injured. With the team’s midfield already depleted, Richie Ryan (undisclosed), Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Karma: April Fools Day) and Philippe Davies (upper body, possibly the arm that he broke and had surgery on) all missed suiting up for the Fury last Saturday. We all understand that Canada has a great universal healthcare system, but that doesn’t mean you can break appendages left, right and center to get the full experience your tax burdens pay for.
Cards Carry Over, Duh
Marc Dos Santos isn’t getting enough flak for managing his players possible card suspensions in the Ft. Lauderdale match last November. Perhaps if he had the forethought to curb Oliver’s and Nicki Paterson’s aggression during that match and not given Mauro Eusatquio the green light to plunge himself at the feet of a Strikers player minutes after the ball had left, the Fury’s midfield wouldn’t have been in the mess it was on Saturday.
Starting Trafford Over Falvey
With the shambles the midfield was in, as detailed above, Ottawa only fielded one defender who played in the 4:0 clean sheet/rout the Fury handed the RailHawks last April and he played CM (Beckie). Dos Santos started seven players making their Fury debut including three out of four defenders. Perhaps the inclusion of Trafford would have provided the much needed stability in the back line that Falvey didn’t, who often got caught out of position.
Penalty: Not Haworth
Continuing a trend that started early in Ottawa’s brief history, they have a statistically improbable amount of trouble scoring penalties, which prove crucial as they usually do. This time the misser, Carl Haworth, stood up and took a weak waist-high shot that was closer to the keeper than the post. Granted the options were limited at that time, but giving the task to a player with only two professional goals to his credit was risky. Perhaps a veteran player would have missed as well, but giving it to a player with a better shot would have been the safer play.
Starting Brandon Poltonieri
This was probably the biggest mistake that would have affected the score sheet. Instead of playing Beckie at CM, who played admirably and did not look out of place, perhaps the coaching staff could have started the Costa Rican/American defender and midfielder. Poltonieri scored less than a minute after coming on in relief of Patryk Misik at the 83rd minute. If my math fails me, and it usually does (I’m a writer not a scientist at CERN), had Brandon P. started, and kept at his pace, he would have scored approximately 12.9 goals. You could equally say that since he was on for the last goal, they would have conceded about 12.9 goals too, but that shouldn’t count because that last goal was bullshit!
JDG Feared for Ref’s Safety
Julian de Guzman was the victim of a non-call made by the ref which lead to the insurance marker by Carolina while the Fury were pressing for the last minute tying goal. After the goal JDG was yellow carded when JDG tried to tell the ref he may have lost his sight momentarily showing concern for the man, as sudden loss of sight may be the symptom of something more serious like stroke or heart failure. A field with 22 men running around with a ball flying at high velocities is hardly the place for a man with vision problems, JDG then carefully grabbed the ref’s arm to escort him to safety and seek medical attention, when the ref blindly stumbled for his ref-wallet and showed JDG a red card. Now de Guzman will miss the next match in Atlanta, while the ref somehow made it back to his hotel room.
Blog Smith @BlogFuryFC