Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton Dos Santos: Fury will “go for it,” while Eddies have decisions to make

Dos Santos: Fury will “go for it,” while Eddies have decisions to make


Coach Marc Dos Santos knows that his Ottawa Fury have to go out with guns blazing in the second leg of the Amway Canadian Championship preliminary round.

Down 3-1 to FC Edmonton after the first leg, Dos Santos and his team arrived in the Alberta capital Tuesday to prepare for Wednesday’s second leg. And, in a classic case of trying to shift the pressure to the team with the lead, Dos Santos said that, preparation wise, his team has a more straightforward plan than the Eddies.

“We know what we have to do — we have to go for it. We need three goals. It doesn’t matter if Edmonton scores a goal or they don’t score a goal, we need three. We can give up one, because it doesn’t change our job. Of course, if we give up a second, that’s a problem, because we’d need to score four. And I don’t think anyone has ever come here (Clarke Stadium) and scored four goals. But, for Edmonton, they don’t know how to handle it. They will be asking themselves: Do we defend? Do we play to win? Do we try and stay halfway?”

But, after arguments that came at the final whistle of last week’s leg, Dos Santos is suspended for Wednesday’s match. But he said that “when the game starts, the coach’s importance is very low.” He’s not sure exactly what he’ll have to be stationed when the game kicks off.

But he’s still not happy about the circumstances. When Edmonton held a 2-1 lead in the second half, Dos Santos felt that Eddies’ left back Kareem Moses should have been sent off and Ottawa awarded a penalty for a hand-ball that stopped a clear goal-scoring opportunity. But the non-call had Dos Santos seeing red, especially after the Eddies were awarded a penalty earlier in the game when Ottawa defender Ryan Richter was judged to have handled in the area (Eddie Lance Laing had his penalty attempt saved, but he did score later in the game).

“I am a fair person,” said Dos Santos. “Laing scores for Edmonton, it’s a good goal, no question. (Tomi) Ameobi scores for Edmonton, no question about the goal. Earlier in the game, Ryan Richter gets called for handball. No doubt it’s a penalty. OK, I have no problem with that call. But then, later, Moses stops the ball with his hand and the call is not made. It could have been 2-2, but instead it ends 3-1. And now I have to watch the second leg from Jacksonville. And Moses will play in tomorrow’s game.”

If there is a ray of hope for the Fury, it’s that the Eddies, all season long, have a habit of poor starts to games. Last Wednesday, Oliver Minatel scored inside of a minute, and that’s the second time in April that the Eddies have surrendered a goal before a game is 60 seconds old — and the third time they’ve allowed a great scoring chance right after the kickoff.

“I don’t think it’s the sort of thing that will last forever,” Dos Santos said. “And there’s always some sort of trade off. Sure, they have had some slow starts, but Edmonton finishes games like no other team in the league.”

In fact, the fitness and speed of the Eddies — especially the wing play of Sainey Nyassi and Laing — is something Dos Santos fears.

“Edmonton is all wide. They don’t play a lot in the middle, so if you can keep the ball away from those wing players — Laing, Nyassi or Johann Smith — you take away 70 per cent of their game.

“But what I do see with Edmonton is that the team has a great identity. Even three years ago, when they had the Dutch coaches, they played a possession game and while they didn’t get the results, they had an identity. Then under Colin (coach Colin Miller) they became a little more direct, more physical and added a lot of athletes to the team. But they still have that strong sense of identity.”

So, outside of the Canadian Championship, does Dos Santos see a future when the Eddies and Fury could clash for the Soccer Bowl? Yes, but not in the immediate future. He said both clubs need to build their histories — and earn more respect through North America. He said that it took the Impact and Whitecaps years of playing in the second division to earn their reputations. But, when Dos Santos coached the Impact — just before the team made the move to MLS — he knew that owner Joey Saputo was the big boss man when the NASL owners sat at the table.

“We are young teams, and maybe we are more polite. When Vancouver and Montreal were in USL, then USSF-2, they had developed a culture in the game. They were respected throughout the league. When Montreal went to the United States to play games, we were respected. Our new Canadian teams in NASL do not have that respect yet; so when the teams go away we don’t get the decisions from the referees. So, we have a long way to go. It took the Impact years and years and years to get to a championship. When it comes to soccer, our teams, they are just babies.”

MDS said the Fury will start four Canadians tomorrow; and he said he’d love to see the Canadian MLS and NASL teams each play a minimum of three Canadians per game.

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One Comment

  1. Ian

    April 29, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Great interview. Can’t wait for the game tonight. See y’all at the park!

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