NASL Notes: Ottawa Adds Experienced Canadian International

IMAGE, VAUGHN RIDLEY/GETTY IMAGES

by JAKE NUTTING

Ottawa Fury FC doubled down on Canadian international experience this week with the signing of national team veteran Marcel de Jong.

With 42 caps for Canada under his belt, de Jong now joins Canadian national team captain Julian De Guzman in Ottawa.

Capable of playing as either a midfielder or defender on the left side of the field, de Jong moves to Ottawa after spending last year in MLS with Sporting Kansas City. Prior to his recent MLS stint, he carved out a career in Europe. A product of the PSV Eindhoven academy, the 29-year-old made his professional debut with Helmond Sport in the Netherlands. Eventually, de Jong moved to Germany in 2010 for a five-year run at FC Augsburg. His first season in Germany was a historic one, as Augsburg earned promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time in club history.

Fury FC also bolstered its attack with the addition of forward Pablo Dyego on a season-long loan from Fluminense. Dyego, 21, has yet to make an appearance for the Brazilian side since signing with the club as a youth player in 2011. He’s seen limited playing time while out on loan to Djurg√•rdens IF in Sweden and Legia II Warsaw in Poland over the past few years. The youngster follows in the footsteps of Minnesota United FC forward Stefano Pinho, who ran away with the NASL’s scoring title and earned MVP honors while on from Fluminense to Fort Lauderdale last year.

Miami FC

Expansion side Miami FC grabbed a player from their cross-town rivals this week in keeper Lionel Brown. The former University of Connecticut keeper signed his first professional contract with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in 2012 and went on to make six appearances for the club in four seasons. Four of those appearances came last year when the Strikers were dealing with injury crises at the position.

Miami added to its back line depth, as well, this week by signing Joe Franco. The 26-year-old defender was drafted by Chivas USA in 2013 but didn’t debut as a professional until 2014 when he joined LA Galaxy II in USL. Franco made 44 total appearances in two seasons with the reserve side and was voted as the squad’s player of the year last season.

Preseason Results

  • Ottawa Fury FC knocked off Indy Eleven 3-0 in Arizona. Ottawa took the win thanks to a ten-minute offensive burst in which the club notched three goals. Newcomer Pablo Dyego assisted Paulo Junior on the first and then added his own three minutes later. Gerardo Bruna capped the match off with a penalty conversion.
  • The Fort Lauderdale Strikers dropped their first match in China this week, losing out to first division side Shandong Luneng 4-1. Gabriel tallied the only goal for the Strikers, with an assist from Adrianinho.
  • Jacksonville Armada FC fell to the visiting New York Red Bulls 5-1. Armada trialist Charles Elondou netted the lone goal for the hosts.
  • The Carolina RailHawks dispatched the University of North Carolina Wilmington 4-0 to kick off their preseason. Goals came from Billy Schuler, Connor Tobin and Aly Alberto Hassan.
  • Minnesota United FC finished winless after their three-game invitational in Portland. The Loons fell to the Portland Timbers (4-0), Chicago Fire (4-0) and Vancouver Whitecaps (3-1). They’ll head to Mexico for their next batch of tune-up matches.
  • Rayo OKC drew with San Antonio FC 1-1 in their first action of the preseason. Michael Periera was the goal scorer for the expansion side.
  • The Tampa Bay Rowdies closed out the inaugural Suncoast Invitational with a scoreless draw against the Montreal Impact. The Rowdies lost out to D.C. United (1-0) and Philadelphia Union (2-0) in their other two matches of the competition. Tampa Bay will fly to England next week for three more matches, including one against Premier League side Stoke City FC.