ALSO ON SLAM!
Tuesday, May 30, 2000
Fury connection bolsters Nats
Canadian players recall miracle of '92
The Fury Connection keeps on making miracles.
And the threesome hopes there's more to come.
Former Winnipeg Fury players Pat Onstad, striker Carlo Corazzin and defender Paul Fenwick have returned here with the national soccer side for the first time since the Canadian Soccer League folded. Onstad will be the starting goalkeeper when Team Canada plays Honduras at the Winnipeg Soccer Complex tonight at 7:30.
"I'm excited to be back," Onstad said yesterday. "When we landed at the airport, Carlo, Paul and I were talking about the Miracle of '92 when we won the CSL championship."
That Fury squad knocked off the Vancouver 86ers to win the MITA Cup. Earlier this year, the Fury Connection helped Team Canada take the Gold Cup and has set its sights on qualifying for the 2002 World Cup.
"It's great to be back," said Corazzin, 28. "I've got great memories of playing here. The last time I was here, we won the CSL championship and beat the 86ers who were the team at the time, and the whole city opened its arms to us.
"Hopefully, we can carry on. The transformation since Holger Osieck has taken over (as head coach) has been amazing. He's brought a different game plan to us and we've all bought into it and we're all moving in the right direction."
Tonight's match is a tune-up for a two-game qualifier against Cuba.
"The last time I played here, it was just a fantastic summer," said Fenwick, 30. "I have many fond memories of the city, even with the big mosquitoes.
"We barely scraped into the playoffs that year and that was similar to the Gold Cup. But then, there wasn't much pressure on us. There's more expectations now because we've raised the profile of soccer in Canada."
And there's more pressure on Onstad, who has become a starter after an injury to Craig Forrest. Onstad, 32, just recovered from knee surgery (tendinitis), but declared himself fit.
HEADERS: Only 5,000 tickets have been sold for the game. Organizers are hoping for a walkup of about 2,000 ... Pat Onstad's wife will join him later in Winnipeg, where they will spend a week visiting old friends.