Archive for October 12th, 2011

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FC Edmonton slashes 11 players, including Jonke, Sidra, Surprenant

John Jonke: Released by FCE

FC Edmonton has announced some eyebrow-raising moves.

In the wake of the 5-0 loss to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the first round of the NASL playoffs two weekends ago, the team has announced major changes will be made.

Eleven players have been told they will not be back next year. On that list are defenders John Jonke, Eddy Sidra and Alex Surprenant.

Jonke was a regular starter for the Eddies, and won an NASL defensive player of the week a month ago. But Edmonton did have the second-worst defensive record in the league, and Jonke was deemed surplus to requirements, as were Sidra and Surprenant, who platooned in the left-back slot.
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Gerba, Billy, among seven Impact cuts

Nick De Santis: "These players are fierce competitors who fought for the well-being of the team"

The Montreal Impact’s brain trust has told seven players who represented the club in NASL that they won’t be part of the team’s MLS plans for 2012.

Striker Ali Gerba — who played for the Canadian national team as recently as this summer’s Gold Cup — is the biggest name on the list. French import Philippe Billy was cut loose, as was New Zealand defender Cameron Knowles, American midfielders David Testo and Luke Kreamalmeyer, and Canadian forwards Marco Terminesi and Pierre Rudolph-Mayard.

As for the seven players, it will be interesting to see if they get offers from any of the other NASL general managers. FC Edmonton signed former Impact Alex Surprenant in 2011 after he was cut by Montreal.
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New Edmonton downtown soccer stadium highlights Heart of the Capital campaign

A new soccer stadium is one of the key projects being pushed by “Heart of the Capital,” a lobby group that is urging Edmonton’s city council to revitalize the downtown core.

The group of anonymous “young professional advertising executives who chose to remain in Edmonton” have launched a website that advocates the continued revitalization of the city’s downtown. That includes expanded LRT service (already under construction) and a new Royal Alberta Museum (for which the province has already earmarked $500 million). As expected, the proposed downtown arena for the Edmonton Oilers is on the list, but right next to it is the soccer stadium. See it HERE.

FC Edmonton owner Tom Fath confirmed that he’s had no contact with the Heart of the Capital group — that it has taken on this PR blitz without any incentives from the club, which just completed its first NASL season.
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Puerto Rico frustrates Canadian strikers at BMO Field

David Edgar got his second straight start in the heart of the Canadian defence.

Coming off its biggest offensive output on Friday in St. Lucia, Canada sputtered and fizzled out at home to Puerto Rico on Tuesday night.

Those who watched the World Cup qualifier from Toronto’s BMO Field cannot be faulted for perhaps falling asleep at some point or changing channels during the uneventful and disappointing 0-0 draw. The first half was dreadful to watch and the second half became slightly more exciting as Canada created a handful of chances, but didn’t really test goalkeeper Brandon Saldana.

Canada dominated possession but was unable to penetrate and find any space in the final third. The team kept the ball, playing wide and tried to swing balls in from the flanks but, with Puerto Rico playing nine players behind the ball, the Canadian attack looked listless at best. The team looked slow and cautious until substitute Tosaint Ricketts came on late to add speed and finally added some grit by running at the Puerto Rican defenders.

“I’m extremely disappointed with the fact that we couldn’t score,” said national coach Stephen Hart. “We tried to find the answers they basically waited for us and allowed us to have the ball. At times we were too slow and couldn’t find the answers. And when we did get our opportunities we didn’t take it — everybody saw the game.”
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