FCE signs French defender, releases Canadian defender

Jonathan Joseph-Augustin: IN

Justin Farenik: OUT

FC Edmonton now has a French connection on the backline.

The team announced three player moves Friday. The club has signed French defender Jonathan Joseph-Augustin. Originally, the club planned to bring him to its March Arizona camp as a trialist, but he impressed enough during his recent weeks training with the club in Edmonton that he has a contract before the team heads south.

Joseph-Augustin was recommended to the club by left back Kevin Hatchi. The pair played together eight years ago with French side Grenoble.

At the same time as Augustin’s signing was made official, the club released Canadian defender Justin Farenik and American forward Shawn Chin.

Farenik’s release comes as a bit of a surprise, as the Calgary native had been with the club since November. He had been focused on having a great debut season with FC Edmonton, after a few difficult years in which he underwent a trio of brain surgeries. Farenik had experience playing lower-division soccer in Belgium and was a former teammate of FCE central defender Paul Hamilton at Trinity Western University.

Of course, the release of a domestic player at the same time a foreign player is signed is a hard sell for an FCE side that prides itself on grooming domestic talent.

FCE confirmed that Farenik is healthy, that the moves are strictly player-personnel decisions.

Chin, an American, came to Edmonton last season out of the University of South Florida. Chin scored one of the team’s highlight-reel goals of the season, a curling shot from outside the box in May home win over FC Tampa Bay.

“The club made two very difficult decisions today to release Shawn Chin and Justin Farenik,” said head coach Harry Sinkgraven. “Both players have been nothing but professional in their time with us and certainly we are all sad to see them go.”

Hatchi helps earn French compatriot Joseph-Augustin a shot in Edmonton (CLICK)

FC Edmonton defender Farenik restarts career after trio of brain surgeries (CLICK)


About Steven Sandor

I'm currently the colour commentator for FC Edmonton broadcasts on Sportsnet, NASL.com and TEAM 1260. I've covered the Toronto FC beat for four years, worked for the Edmonton Aviators of the USL for a season, covered the Edmonton Drillers of the NPSL and started covering Canadian World Cup qualifiers in 1996. I've covered the CONCACAF Champions League and the U-20 World Cup. I'm passionate about soccer in North America.