Who: Toronto FC II (1-2-1) at Ottawa Fury FC (1-2-0)
When: Saturday, April 22, 2017, 2:00 PM ET
Where: TD Place Stadium
Live stream: tfc2.ca
Toronto FC II returns to action this weekend following their first bye week of the season. The Young Reds are headed up the 401 to take on their new inter-province rivals Ottawa Fury FC in the Fury’s 2017 home opener.
TFC II is headed into the match off a 0-0 draw against the Rochester Rhinos in their 2017 home opener. “I was happy with the defensive shape, all in all, I think it was a fair point for us,” said head coach Jason Bent following the draw.
Ottawa is coming off their first win of the season, a 1-0 victory over the Richmond Kickers. The Fury went ahead on an absolute wonder goal from Steevan Dos Santos in the 79th and Canadian keeper Callum Irving kept a clean sheet in the victory.
This will be the first-ever meeting between the two sides in the USL. However, the teams did meet in a preseason friendly at the Kia Training Grounds earlier this year. Toronto FC II won the game 2-1. Brian James scored a first-half double in the victory.
Last season the Reds played some intense rivalry matches against the now defunct FC Montreal. When asked if any of that will carry over to their new rival midfielder Brian James added, “It’s a rivalry game, they’re just up the road. It is going to be just like FC Montreal. We are going to go out there and just leave it all.”
Head coach Jason Bent would not confirm which first team players would be available for the match but expect at least a couple to be in the lineup on Saturday. Other than Lars Eckenrode, Bent should have his full roster to choose from come Saturday.
Player to Watch:
Steevan Dos Santos: The author of the aforementioned wonder goal is in his first season with the Fury. Dos Santos spent the last two seasons with the Rochester Rhinos. The Cape Verde native was a dominant presence against the Young Reds last season. The forward netted a goal in the final meeting between the two clubs last season. Dos Santos added 3 goals in two playoff games last year.
Jamar Dixon: The Canadian international is in his second season with Ottawa. The midfielder made stops in both Finland and Sweden before returning home last summer. Dixon has started all three matches for the Fury this season and has completed his passes at a 76% clip.