Tom Heinemann leaving Ottawa Fury FC for Tampa Bay
6 other players won't be returning in 2016, team announces
Ottawa Fury FC's top-scoring striker Tom Heinemann is leaving the city to play for another North American Soccer League side, the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Ottawa will forever hold a special place in my ❤️. Thx for all the memories! <a href="https://t.co/3aIgv6xQb0">pic.twitter.com/3aIgv6xQb0</a>—@TommyHeinemann
According to the Rowdies, Heinemann has signed a two-year contract with an option for the club to renew the deal in 2018. No other details of the contract have been disclosed.
Heinemann led the Fury in scoring in their 2015 season with 12 goals, including two in a memorable at-home semi-final match against Minnesota United FC, and another two in a championship final loss to the New York Cosmos.
Ottawa's remarkable success in 2015 generated a lot of interest in the charismatic 28-year-old, six-feet-four-inch forward from St. Louis, Mo. But some speculated if he was going anywhere, it would be a move back up to a Major League Soccer side instead of a lateral move to another NASL team.
Tampa Bay struggled last season, earning just 20 points in 20 games compared to Ottawa's 45.
Before joining the Fury in 2014, Heinemann played three seasons in the MLS, with Columbus Crew in 2011-12 and Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2013.
Absolutely thrilled to be joining the <a href="https://twitter.com/TampaBayRowdies">@TampaBayRowdies</a> ! Excited to meet the fans in Tampa Bay & get started for 2016. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COYR?src=hash">#COYR</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/naslofficial">@naslofficial</a>—@TommyHeinemann
Heinemann isn't the only player parting ways with the Fury. In a roster update issued Monday afternoon, the club announced Drew Beckie, Andrew Wiedeman, Ugur Albayrak, Oliver, Nicki Paterson and Aly Alberto Hassan won't be returning next season, either because their contracts have expired or they didn't have their options picked up.
In a statement Fury head coach Paul Dalglish said the organization is "excited about the way the roster is coming together for next season ... We took the necessary amount of time to evaluate our options for 2016 to ensure we took the best decisions that will help achieve our goal of winning an NASL Championship."