Ottawa Fury Join Tampa Bay, Moving from NASL to USL

IMAGE, OTTAWA FURY FC/RICHARD A. WHITTAKER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

Just two short hours after announcing the Tampa Bay Rowdies as the latest team in the USL, the Ottawa Fury have followed suit, becoming the second team to switch leagues today.

“In Ottawa we have a world-class ownership group with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group,” said USL executive Nick Papadakis. “Like many of our current ownership groups OSEG has cross ownership that includes a CFL team and a team in the Ontario Hockey League, and Fury FC’s success both on the field and in the stands makes the club an outstanding addition to the USL.”

The Ottawa Fury were founded in 2011 but didn’t play their first game until 2014. Under the watchful eye of Marc Dos Santos, who led the Swope Park Rangers to a Western Conference Championship, the Fury reached the NASL Championship in 2015. Unfortunately they were unable to return to the playoffs this season and have now decided to join the United Soccer League for the foreseeable future.

The USL is also gaining a major lower division attendance draw. The team had it’s most successful season with ticket buyers averaging 5,521 fans per game. They currently share their stadium, TD Place Stadium, with the CFL team Ottawa Redblacks. In 2014 the team renovated the stadium which was first opened back in the 1870’s.

“The USL is a strong professional league that’s getting stronger and I know our fan base will be impressed,” said Fury head coach and former Austin Aztex gaffer Paul Dalglish. “The competition is intense, the caliber of player is high and the brand of soccer is fast-paced. It’s going to be exciting for Fury fans next season and exciting for the players to feel their energy at TD Place.”