Home Canadian Soccer Ottawa Fury’s success story is welcome news for suffering Canadian soccer fans

Ottawa Fury’s success story is welcome news for suffering Canadian soccer fans

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Mallory Outerbridge
Canadian soccer needs this.

The Ottawa Fury were wary of a slip-up in this past weekend’s W-League Central Conference Championship tourney. Instead, the Fury, which finished the season with a perfect 12-0-0 mark, was as dominant in the tournament as the club has been all season.

The Fury earned the right to go to the W-League’s final four in Seattle by beating the No. 4 seed Toronto Lady Lynx 4-0 on Saturday and crushing the Quebec City Amiral 6-0 in Sunday’s conference final at Ottawa’s Algonquin College.

Mallory Outerbridge, who led the W-League with 17 goals in 12 regular season games, scored twice and added three helpers in the two playoff matches. Jessica Shufelt had a hat trick against Quebec City. And Melissa Busque scored three goals in the playoffs.

Of those three, Outerbridge and Busque are Canadian. Yes, they are still finishing their NCAA careers, but they need to be on the radar of the Canadian national women’s program as the team prepares for its January Olympic qualifiers.

As soon as a new coach for the women’s program is hired, their resumes have to go on that person’s desk.

But, considering how deeply depressing the Canadian women’s soccer scene has been after the national side went a shocking oh-for-three at the World Cup, the Fury has been a needed breath of fresh air. It’s exciting to see a club — mainly made of women who hadn’t played together before 2011 — enjoy such success. And, as a prime incubator for Canadian women’s talent, the Fury gives us hope that the likes of Outerbridge and Busque can be integral part of a reinvented women’s side that will play at the World Cup when Canada hosts it in 2015.

In fact, would it be remiss to suggest that Fury head coach Dominic Oliveri, which has built the women’s side into a W-League juggernaut, shouldn’t have some input into the selection of a new women’s coach? After all, he’s close to the Canadian Soccer Association’s head office.

Canadian soccer fans as a whole have been beaten up this summer. The women’s programs goes winless at the World Cup, Canada is eliminated at the group stage of the Gold Cup. Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps are at the rear of the MLS overall table. The Montreal Impact has just two wins in its final NASL season. If not for the Fur and the surprise success of FC Edmonton at the NASL level, Canadian fans might be seeking ledges from which to jump.

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