FC Edmonton’s second day of training camp — and the first held before the media — offered the first chance to see all of the team’s new signings.
With goalkeeper Nathan Ingham, defenders Pape Diakite and Adam Eckersley, midfielders Nik Ledgerwood, Gustavo Salgueiro and striker Jake Keegan in the fold — coach Colin Miller has made a lot of moves to re-make the Eddies, as the team looks to make the NASL post-season for only the second time in team history. And it’s not done; Miller said another signing will likely be announced in the next couple of days.
But, while the Eddies have made many changes, how will they stack up against the rest of the league? We have seen an influx of players into NASL, and the quality of play looks to be improving year after year. If someone has an idea of what it took to get to the playoffs in 2015, that standard is likely higher in 2016. Miami FC, Fort Lauderdale Tampa Bay, and Minnesota (including the signing of FCE’s top scorer from last year, Lance Laing) have all been making major moves.
And that’s the challenge for NASL teams; they not only have to thing about what areas need to be bolstered, but they also have to understand that the level of play I 2016 won’t be the same as it was in 2015.
“The NASL, now, for sure is the strongest that it’s ever been, other than the old NASL I played in — the dinosaurs, it seems that long ago,” said Miller after FCE’s session at Commonwealth Fieldhouse. “Certainly there’s been a lot of movement within the league because we’ve got three new franchises. Of course, there will be a lot of announcements that way. But the money that’s being spent now within each club is fantastic.
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