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March to the Match: Ottawa Fury FC

WHO:

Ottawa Fury FC, 5-4-5, 20 points, 5th place USL Eastern Conference

WHAT:

A Louisville City home USL match!

WHEN:

Saturday, June 30, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

WHERE:

Louisville Slugger Field, 401 E. Main Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202

WATCH:

AT. SLUGGER. FIELD. Seriously, this might be the best week of Louisville weather I’ve ever experienced in my life. It’s amazing. Enjoy it, along with beers and soccer fans at a baseball field where a very good team that wears purple plays and usually wins. DO IT. But if you can’t make it because of some dumb new baby that you just had, watch it on TV on WMYO 58, listen on the radio at 840 WHAS, or stream it on the YouTubes with this link right here.

WHO, AGAIN?

You may be forgiven for forgetting that Ottawa Fury even existed. I almost forgot. They’ve quietly sidled up to fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings, and I, who am unhealthily obsessed with this league, didn’t even notice until I started working on this preview. I’m not sure people who live in Ottawa are talking about them, either, though they’ve been doing pretty well at the gate, good for 8th in the USL.

Before today, all I knew about Ottawa was that they were located somewhere in Canada that is neither Toronto nor Vancouver. I knew that they played in the NASL, but got scared of that league’s future prospects for some pretty good reasons and left it for the USL last fall. I knew that former Rochester Rhinos forward Steevan “Duba” Dos Santos played for them because he scored this amazing midfield strike for his team’s first league goal earlier this year against Sad Richmond Kickers. That’s it; that’s all I knew.

Now, thanks to the Internet, I know that the team was founded in 2011 and started NASL play in 2013. I know that the city of Ottawa is right here on a map, just across the Ottawa River from snooty and affected Quebec:

I know that they made the Soccer Bowl once in their three-year NASL stint, that famous/infamous Scotsman Paul Dalglish is their head coach, and that former University of Kentucky star goalkeeper Callum Irving is their No. 1, this hilarious gaffe notwithstanding.

I know that they aren’t real big on possession, which isn’t too surprising given who their manager is. I know they don’t pass well at all in the opposing half of the field – 54% on the season. I know they’re direct, and like to tackle and defend and hit you on the counter. I know they can score, and that they are also prone to giving up goals.

don’t know why there’s a flame in their crest, or what that has to do with Ottawa, or what that mascot is supposed to be. MYSTERIES!

Route One soccer has proven to be very effective at times against Louisville City, though Pittsburgh found out that it can really burn you, too, when City plays with three at the back with guys running into space toward goal. I have no idea what version this clash of styles is going to be on Saturday, but I do know that you need to be there to find out.

COME ON, CITY!