With the team’s final NASL season in the books, Ottawa Fury FC says it is ready to make the move to the USL.
Last week it was announced that Fury FC, along with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, are shifting to the USL for next season. In the months leading up to the announcement, it had been reported that Fury FC was struggling financially and that a change of leagues could be made to help improve the bottom line.
Fury FC president John Pugh recently addressed this issue, confirming that the financials were part of the move and that the USL’s partnership with the MLS gives the league an advantage. More from the Telegraph:
He added: “The USL is a really high-calibre soccer league which is attracting big crowds and experiencing tremendous growth.
“They’ve applied for division-two status on the North American pyramid. And it’s important – people talk about MLS as [division] one, NASL as two and USL as three.
“The USL’s partnership with MLS has been a very profitable and a good one for them. USL now has some of the main candidates that might go to MLS in the future – like Sacramento, Cincinnati, St Louis and San Antonio.
“For us, it’s an opportunity to bring stability and sustainability to our programme here. We’ve been going for three seasons and are drawing around 5,500 people per game.”
The push for second-tier status has part of the USL’s goal for expansion, one in which MLS partnerships are increasing. With three franchises–Ottawa, Tampa Bay, and Reno–joining the league in 2017 and Nashville confirmed for next year, the USL could continue to grow over the coming years. Now Fury FC will have to hope that the model that has worked in other cities can be applied to Ottawa.
Ottawa Fury FC.