After rumors of the club also departing the league and confirmation today that the Rowdies would join the USL next year, the North American Soccer League suffered the additional blow of the loss of the Ottawa Fury.
Ottawa first kicked a ball in the league in 2014 and under Marc Dos Santos, who will coach the San Francisco Deltas in 2017, made a charge to the NASL Final last season. After a lackluster 2016, they have signaled they will depart and move into USL.
“We’re excited to be joining the fastest growing soccer league in the world,” Fury FC President John Pugh said. “The USL’s goal is to be the top second division league in the world and we are thrilled to be part of it. Our growing and loyal fan base deserves and can expect a very high caliber of play and tremendous competition.”
USL receive their second club of the day from NASL as the Rowdies made their announcement just two hours prior.
“In Ottawa we have a world-class ownership group with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, which has transformed a section of Canada’s capital city into a sports, entertainment and residential destination that is second-to-none,” Papadakis said. “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 Fury will already have coaching in place for the transition as Head Coach Paul Dalglish coached the USL’s Austin Aztex in 2012 and 2013, returning in 2014 before joining the NASL club late last year.
“The USL is a strong professional league that’s getting stronger and I know our fans will be impressed,” said Dalglish. “The competition is intense, the caliber of play 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.”