NASHVILLE – Looking to earn valuable USL points, Nashville SC will travel to Ottawa, Canada to clash with Eastern Conference foe Ottawa Fury FC on Saturday at 6 p.m. CST. The game will mark the first of a busy stretch for the side with three games slated in the next eight days. It will be the first time Nashville SC has faced a Canadian side in its regular-season history, and also the first game and only game this season “abroad” for Nashville.
Ottawa, currently sitting out of playoff position, has had a roller coaster of a season to date, boasting a 7-8-3 record in USL play. To start the season, the home side did not its first give games. However, a 1-0 victory over Penn FC on May 5th sparked a five-match unbeaten run where Ottawa did not allow a goal. Since that stretch, Ottawa is 3-4-0, but is looking to again start a run after a victory over Penn. Last Saturday, the Fury went from 0-1 down to a 2-1 win with two late goals at home. The side did play in the midweek in non-USL action Wednesday night, as they fell 1-0 to Toronto FC in the first leg of the semi-finals of the Canadian Championship.
This Saturday’s match should prove to be another defensive battle as both club’s boast their fair share of clean sheets on the season. While Nashville is tied for third in the USL in total clean sheets with nine, Ottawa is right behind with eight. Even though the side has been stout on the defensive end, Ottawa has also proven to be consistent in the attacking third. The Fury’s 18 goals have been scored by nine different players. Forward Steevan Dos Santos leads the charge with four goals while Adonijah Reid and Kevin Oliveira have both put three in the back of the net.
Nashville enters the match looking to notch three points on the road in the second leg of a two-game road stint after dropping a 1-0 decision to Charlotte Independence its last time out. Nashville SC is holding strong in playoff position still with nine home matches left in the second half of the season. The side is making its presence known in the East, averaging the fifth most points per game (1.59), boasts the second-most clean sheets (9) and has allowed the second-fewest goals (11) in the Eastern Conference.
This will be the first match that Nashville SC will play against a Canadian side in club history. A few of Nashville’s players have ties to the area as defender’s Ryan James and Jordan Dunstan both hail from Mississauga, Ontario, just outside of Toronto. Forward Tucker Hume will also return to Ottawa for the first time since wearing a Fury uniform. Hume spent the 2017 season as part of the Ottawa Fury roster where he played in 23 games and made 12 starts, scoring three goals.
Head Coach Gary Smith – “Ottawa have done a great job after a really rough start of being one of the most competitive teams in the league. They give up few goals, they’ve got a home field that is not easy to play on or at. It’s a turf field, they play it well and have a particular mind set and style about them and I think they’ve really gotten into a groove in that aspect.”
Watching the East
The USL Eastern Conference has been fun to follow this season with just five points separating third-place Charleston Battery from eight-place Charlotte Independence. Three other teams, including Ottawa, are sitting within three points of a playoff spot, making every point critical in the East for the remainder of the season.
How to Watch
The game will be broadcast live on MyTV30 locally and streamed live nationally on ESPN+. You can also listen to ESPN’s radio coverage of the game on 94.9 Game2. Be sure to follow Nashville SC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for complete coverage.