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Three Ottawa Fury stars allowed to leave, four options exercised

New York Cosmos

It was a fantastic 2015 season for the Ottawa Fury, but it looks as if it may be very difficult for the club to repeat its success in 2016. There have been some big names leaving the squad already, and on Tuesday, the club announced that another trio of stars would be departing.

The biggest loss as far as Ottawa fans are concerned will likely be captain Richie Ryan, who many felt was the biggest reason that the Fury made it all the way to the NASL title match. Ryan's departure will leave a massive hole in front of the defense, with no obvious replacement to step in and play at anything close to Ryan's level.

Joining Ryan at the exit are defenders Ryan Richter and midfielder Sinisa Ubiparipovic, both of whom were key contributors during the 2015 season. While the Fury confirmed that all three would be leaving, they did not reveal where any of the trio would land in 2016. I'd expect news of all three transfers to leak relatively soon.

The club's fans did get a bit of good news this week, as the Fury announced that they've picked up the contract options of four players, including a NASL Best XI performer. All of Rafael Alves, Carl Haworth, Paulo Junior, and Brandon Poltronieri are now under contract for next season, though it's still entirely possible that Alves departs in the coming weeks.

Regardless of what happens with Alves, though, Ottawa have a lot of work to do if they want to defend their fall season title. It's very hard to picture that happening at the moment.