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Fury Kicks Off Home Opener With 1-0 Win Over Icon FC



The Philadelphia Fury played their home opener to a 1-0 win over Icon FC in week two of American Soccer League (ASL) action.


Both teams played their inaugural games last week on the road. Icon drew 1-1 with Mass United FC and the Fury were on the wrong end of a 6-5 goal-scoring fest that ended with the AC Crusaders scoring the game-winning goal just moments before the final whistle blew.


This week's contest featured both teams looking to pick up their first-ever ASL win while building positive momentum to carry them through the heart of the ASL Fall season.


Both teams struggled to create scoring opportunities in the first half. The Fury had the biggest goal-scoring threat of the first half when Ansger Otto, coming off of a three-goal performance last week, stripped an Icon defender of the ball at around midfield. Otto then raced down the field and found himself one-on-one with Icon's keeper. He picked his head up and saw the keeper slightly off of his line and attempted to chip him. Unfortunately, Otto did not get the ball trajectory he was looking for and the ball sailed over the crossbar for an Icon six kick.


Neither team seemed to be appeased by the possibility of a draw and they both continued to send players forward in an attempt to end the scoreless deadlock.


The Fury had a few chances to score in the second half. Newly-signed Fury defender, Brad Vanino, made an inspired run up the field with the ball before playing the ball out wide to a winger. Vanino continued his run into the box and his persistence paid off when the ball made its way back to his feet near the penalty spot. He then made a brilliant turn and fired the ball past Icon's GK. The Fury faithful erupted at the sight of the first goal only to have the wind knocked out of their sails by the linesman who spotted Vanino handling the ball with his hands - no goal.


Despite a lack of scoring and Vanino's 75th minute disallowed goal, the fans stayed behind the Fury and kept cheering for a result. Their patience and loyalty would be rewarded with just seven minutes remaining in regulation.


It was another new signee, Scott McCoubrey, who created the spark the Fury needed to break the scoreless draw.


He picked up the ball on the left side of the field and nutmegged (put the ball through a defenders legs) an Icon defender before turning on the jets down the field. He then played a beautiful left-footed cross into the box that found a streaking Nic Kolarac about six yards away from goal. Kolarac had no choice but to score and calmly buried the ball into the side netting leaving Icon GK and defenders no chance to stop the goal.


Neither team seemed content with a 1-0 score line as both teams continued to play at a feverish pace. The intensity of the match remained high and both teams allowed their competitive spirits take over. Things got chippy, but remained clean, late in the match and both teams saw one of their players receive red cards on separate and unrelated incidents.


Despite the red cards, the ref blew his final whistle and both teams displayed great sportsmanship and congratulated each other on a game well-played. The Fury fans then rushed the field to congratulate their team and swarm the players hoping to get autographs and pictures with the hometown heroes.


In other ASL matches, the AC Crusaders traveled down to Maryland where they were handed their first defeat of the season when the ref blew the final whistle to their 1-0 contest with the Evergreen Diplomats.


An up-and-coming rivalry match also took place between Mass United FC and Western Mass Pioneers. Neither team was able to secure three points and the match ended in a 1-1 draw.



About ASL: 


American Professional Soccer (APS) is the parent company of American Soccer League (ASL).  The APS founders' vision is to have APS as a sanctioned professional league under USSF when the proper protocols and procedures have been established to fit under the Division 3 USSF guidelines.  In the meantime, ASL is the subsidiary of the APS and will play as a sanctioned league in the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA).  The ASL will be the premier league in the U.S. to develop the next level of young Americans and promote these players to the highest levels of the professional game whether in North America or throughout the world.  The league structure and rules have been established to encourage proactive movement of players to the next level whenever the players have garnered outside interest.