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Two Irishmen are at the centre of remarkable turnaround in North American soccer circles

Richie Ryan and Colin Falvey are crucial to the Ottawa Fury’s reversal of fortunes.

Image: Eoin O'Callaghan

THE FIRST HALF of the North American Soccer League season did not go according to plan for the Ottawa Fury.

They won twice from ten games and were ranked ninth of eleven teams.

The NASL campaign is split in two: the Spring Championship and the Fall Championship – the winners of both, as well as the next best two teams from the overall standings, then compete in the play-offs.

And since the Fall Championship began in July, the side from the Canadian capital have been a club transformed.

With one defeat from fourteen matches, they’re currently five points clear at the top of the current table and their consistent form means they’re also just a point behind storied franchise the New York Cosmos in the overall standings.

Last night in NY, the Fury delivered a huge statement of intent and thumped the Cosmos 4-1. And, as has been the case for the entire season, two Irishmen were central to the victory.

Former Sligo Rovers and Shamrock Rovers midfielder Richie Ryan is the club captain while Colin Falvey – ex-Cobh Ramblers and Kilkenny City – has been the anchor of the Fury defence.

Falvey set up the opening goal at Shuart Stadium, heading Ryan’s free-kick back across goal for Paulo Junior to finish to the net.

The result was a first home defeat for the Cosmos in 18 games and was another sign of just how much Ottawa have turned things around in the last few months.

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About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan

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