The St. Louis Ambush host the Ontario Fury in back-to-back games this weekend at Axius Field at the Family Arena. On Friday, February 5, action gets underway at 7:35 p.m. CST with the encore slated for Saturday, February 6 at 7:05 p.m.
The Ambush come into the weekend with a 4-3 record and a spot in second place in the MASL standings. Friday’s contest is the start of the season for the Fury, who are slated to play all their 2021 regular season games either on the road or at neutral sites due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
St. Louis has been bitten by the injury bug, with four players dealing with a variety of issues. Goalkeeper Paulo Nascimento is battling a groin strain and is listed as likely to be available for play in this weekend’s games. Forward Duduca Carvalho suffered a torn achilles tendon in last Friday’s game against Florida and is facing surgery this Friday, spelling a premature end to his season. Defender Pepe Junqueira is still recovering from wrist surgery and his date of return is yet to be determined. Midfielder Ado Jahic is undergoing concussion protocol and is awaiting medical clearance, but is likely to be cleared to return to action this weekend.
The Ambush split a pair of games with the first place Florida Tropics last weekend, losing 8-3 on Friday and bouncing back to post an 8-4 win on Sunday. Sunday’s game was particularly salient as it was Florida’s first loss of the season and it was played by the Ambush without any of the four injured players referenced above.
General Manager Jeff Locker said, “When we assembled this year’s roster, we not only sought front-line talent but also depth. That depth was put into play on Sunday when goalkeeper Brett Petricek turned in an outstanding performance in place of Paulo and other players stepped up to help defeat the best team in the league. Our guys showed amazing resiliency in bouncing back from a tough defeat on Friday to prevail in impressive fashion on Sunday.”
The arrival of the Fury at the Family Arena this weekend also signals the return of some familiar faces to St. Louis soccer. Midfielder Carlos Farias has played for 23 teams prior to joining Ontario. The 44-year-old is seemingly ageless and has appeared in 479 professional indoor soccer games. Among the 23 teams he has played for were the St. Louis Steamers from 2004 to 2006. Another familiar face is St. Charles native Justin Stinson, who appeared in 28 games with the Ambush from 2017 to 2019. Ontario forward Nestor Hernandez appeared in 18 games with the Ambush during the 2017-18 season.
After this weekend’s games, the Ambush will head west to challenge their Missouri rivals, the Kansas City Comets, on Friday, February 12 at 7:00 p.m. CST at the Cable Dahmer Arena in Independence. The month of February concludes with a two-game home stand against the San Diego Sockers February 26 and 28.
Tickets for upcoming home games are available at the Family Arena box office or online at ticketmaster.com. All Ambush games can also be viewed online at Facebook Live PPV.