Ottawa Fury have made some well needed additions this week, bringing the club closer to having a full roster ready for 2016. The club had lost some well known names in the past eight weeks, such as Ryan Richter, Richie Ryan, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Tom Hienemann and soon, Colin Falvey. Fury supporters will be happy to see Dalglish settle in to his office at Lansdowne Park this January and make some important signing announcements.
The news this week kicked off when Fury announced that they had extended the contracts of Brazilian duo Paulo Jr and Rafael Alves through to 2017. The move signifies Dalglish’s intention to keep Alves in the heart of the Ottawa defense, while hopefully finding more playing time for Paulo Jr, who will fit in well on the wing with Dalglish’s system.
Later that day, the Canadian club announced that they had signed former MLS and NASL midfielder Jonny Steele, reuniting him with Dalglish, whom he had worked with in Tampa. Steele makes the move after leaving Minnesota last July, spending the 2015 Fall Season without a club. Steele will likely replace the role that Ubiparipovic played as an attacking midfielder. Steele also spent time playing with the New York Redbulls.
The news kept rolling in, when on Wednesday Fury announced that they had completed the signing of Canadian Kyle Porter. Porter spent last season playing with Atlanta, however with the Silverbacks not playing in 2016, the versatile native of Toronto made a move back home. Porter will add to the strong Canadian talent in the Fury squad, with De Guzman, Trafford, Haworth and Eustaquio already on the roster, and all having represented Canada on various levels.
On Thursday Ottawa announced that they had made two more signings. The first was Onua Thomas Obasi, a 6’4 left back that Dalglish described to OttawaFuryFC.com as great with 1v1 and fits well into what the gaffer has to implement this season. The 27 year old native of England comes to the club after helping the Rochester Rhinos secure the USL Championship in 2015. The second signing was Rich Balchan, a former MLS first round draft pick in 2011, spent last season with the Tampa Bay Rowdies. As a right back, Balchan appears to be a replacement for Ryan Richter in the starting position.
These signings this week add to the three signings made in mid-December, when Fury announced they had signed forward Dennis Chin, midfield/defender Lance Rozeboom and defender Fernando Timbo. Dalglish has said on twitter that he hopes to make a few more announcements on signings and then get ready to take the squad to the pitch.
Fury will kick off their 2016 NASL campaign in a rematch of last seasons NASL Championship Final, with a visit to Hofstra University to take on the New York Cosmos. They will play the first four matches of the Spring Season on the road, being having a four game home stand in May. The club will also play two matches in May vs FC Edmonton in the Voyageurs Cup, the Canadian domestic cup with a route to the Concacaf Championship League. Winner of the two legged affair will then face the Vancouver Whitecaps in the Voyageurs Cup Semi-Final.