Home NASL & USL Ottawa Fury MDS on the move: Will the Fury of 2015 be just like the RailHawks of 2011?

MDS on the move: Will the Fury of 2015 be just like the RailHawks of 2011?


Last week, when I was interviewing Ottawa Fury Coach Marc Dos Santos for a Plastic Pitch feature, I finished with a question about where he saw the club going in the future.

His answer was prophetic.

“From day one, we established a model of play for the club. And that did not change no matter the coaches or players we brought in. We stuck to our model of play, even when there were growing pains, even when there were several losses in a row. We believed that, sticking to our vision, we would create the right identity for the club. We’d create the right visibility of the club. And if we keep feeding that model, and by that I mean that we keep improving every day, then there are no limits to where this club can go. When we started off we were playing in front of 1,500 people at Carleton [University]. And, now, the last few games we’ve played in front of 6,000 people. And, if we can make that model strong, it will continue. If I leave, it will continue. If [members of the coaching staff] leave, it will continue.”

On Tuesday, MDS and the Fury announced that the coach will be leaving the club at the end of the NASL season, and he’s been allowed to enter talks with an unnamed MLS team over a coaching position.

Now, the question: Will the Fury be the new Carolina RailHawks?

Remember that this isn’t the first time that an NASL coach announced he would be leaving his club at the end of a season in order to take an MLS job. Back in 2011, the Carolina RailHawks were absolutely savaging the rest of the NASL, and head coach Martin Rennie was rumoured to be going to a number of MLS teams. With the RailHawks at the top of the standings, it was announced that Rennie would finish the NASL season, then take over as the Whitecaps coach.

Carolina imploded. The best team in the league suffered a severe dip in form. And, while their record was still good enough to make the playoffs, the RailHawks crashed out of the post-season.

Several of those RailHawks players would tell me that the focus changed the second Rennie announced he was going to MLS. Instead of playing for each other, the players saw the second half of the NASL season as their chance to audition for possible MLS jobs or training-camp invites. The team dynamic fell apart.

Now, will the Fury’s players retain their professionalism, or will the same fate befall the NASL fall season leaders? It will be fascinating to see if the Fury stays the course, or if the issues that plagued Rennie’s RailHawks in 2011 will be seen in the nation’s capital.

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  1. Steven

    September 16, 2015 at 9:51 am

    I’d take him at TFC.
    I really liked his comments in the interview on the Canadian professional league. I think he is spot on there. Rather than jump straight to professional I think Canada should use the USL PDL, build more junior clubs and work towards a junior league system like WHL, OHL. If Hockey can’t have its own league in Canada then soccer probably can’t do it either.

  2. Kent

    September 16, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Did any of those Railhawks players end up in MLS?

    Hopefully Dos Santos sees this as a potential problem like you have, and he addresses it head on. Maybe he could tell the team something like “If you think you are auditioning to come play with me, keep in mind that I only want players that play for the team, do the little things, track back, make the right pass. Not players that try for a difficult goal instead of an easy assist, or don’t defend so they have more energy to play offensively.” Or something smarter that an actual coach would say, rather than some dweeb on the internet:)

  3. Ian

    September 15, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Gotta think with the coaching shifts, Montreal is interested in him, perhaps in an assistant role? I didn’t hear about bridges being burnt there. He’s done a great job in Ottawa, bringing them a long way in short order.
    Interesting thought in the article – how will Ottawa handle the shift.

  4. Steedman

    September 15, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Martin Renne:
    Team-Seoul E-Land FC
    From 17 July 2014 to Present
    G18 W10 T4 L4

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