Ottawa Fury FC vs. Toronto FC | 2018 Canadian Championship Match Preview

ExLink - 07/18/18 - OTTvTOR

Ottawa Fury FC vs. Toronto FC
Canadian Championship Semifinal - First Leg

TD Place Stadium — Ottawa
July 18 - 7:30 pm ET

WATCH:, Yahoo Sports Canada

For a second straight year, Toronto FC meet the Ottawa Fury in the Canadian Championship semifinals with the first leg set for TD Place Stadium in Canada’s capital Wednesday night.

The Reds are defending champions and have won the tournament six times. They are hoping to continue their dominance against an Ottawa Fury team that defeated Quebec outfit Blainville, 2-0, in the second qualifying round with former New England Revolution and New York City FC forward Tony Taylor and Carl Haworth scoring the lone goal in each leg.

A year ago, the Fury rallied to win the opening leg at home, 2-1, but TFC roared to a 4-0 victory in the second leg at BMO Field to advance to the final 5-2 on aggregate.

Ottawa Fury FC    

Ottawa are 10th in the USL’s Eastern Conference standings with a 7-8-3 record and come into the match off a 2-1 victory over Penn FC Saturday afternoon in the second of five straight matches at TD Place Stadium.

After falling behind in the 56th minute on a headed goal by Kenny Tribbett, Taylor leveled in the 72nd minute with his first league goal before Steevan Dos Santos struck for the winner eight minutes from full time.

"As I said from the beginning, if we are not able to implement a good culture, it will be difficult to win games,” Ottawa coach Nikola Popovic said after the match. “Culture will always eat strategy and tactics for breakfast, always. One of the core values of our culture is belief, and I think today was the first sign that we are coming.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Maxim Tissot (knee injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)
GK: Maxime Crepeau — Eddie Edward, Nana Attakora, Thomas Meilleur-Giguere, Onua Obasi — Jamar Dixon, Chris Mannela, Kevin Oliveira — Tony Taylor, Steevan Dos Santos, Adonijah Reid

Toronto FC

If Toronto FC want to return to the Concacaf Champions League after a run to the final earlier this year, they will have to put their poor league form behind them against a hungry Fury squad.

The Reds hit a low point of their season Saturday night, losing 2-1 at Orlando, their fourth defeat in six consecutive matches without a win.

Chris Schuler gave Orlando a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute with a close range header after Alex Bono spilled a Dom Dwyer shot in front of the goal. Dwyer then made it 2-0 three minutes into the second half. Nick Hagglund scored a cosmetic goal in the third minute of second-half stoppage time.

“Getting back on the field in a competition of that sort, we think there’s a lot of pride in this group to defend our title from two times in a row, a group I know would like to get back in the Champions League and this is our way in,” TFC coach Greg Vanney said. “Obviously this first series against Ottawa is an important one and we have to match the intensity and the desire that they want and we’ve got to be clean about how we go about getting ourselves out to a good start on Wednesday and then coming back and trying to finish it off the following week."

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: F - Jozy Altidore (foot surgery), D - Drew Moor (quadricep strain), D - Chris Mavinga (hamstring strain), GK - Caleb Patterson-Sewell (elbow injury), D - Auro (hamstring strain), D - Jason Hernandez (hamstring strain), M - Victor Vazquez (knee injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-4-2, right to left)
GK: Clint Irwin — Nicolas Hasler, Julian Dunn, Nick Hagglund, Ashtone Morgan — Aidan Daniels, Jay Chapman, Liam Fraser, Ryan Telfer — Jordan Hamilton, Tosaint Ricketts

All-Time in Canadian Championship

  • Overall: Ottawa Fury FC 7 wins, 16 goals … Toronto FC 17 wins, 47 goals
  • This is the third Canadian Championship meeting between Ottawa Fury FC and Toronto FC. Ottawa won, 2-1 at home in the first leg of the semifinals on May 23, 2017 and Toronto FC claimed a 4-0 victory on May 30, 2017 at BMO Field, advancing 5-2 on aggregate