NASL & USL Archive

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FCE’s Boakai and Jalali to join national U-20 side for the Milk Cup

Dale-Farm-Milk-Cup-logoFC Edmonton teenagers Hanson Boakai and Sadi Jalali will be leaving the team on Wednesday.

Why? So they can join the Canadian U-20 squad for the Milk Cup, a tournament to be held in Northern Ireland from July 27-August 1. Canada will face Mexico, China and the Irish hosts.

And, for Boakai and Jalali, it’s a chance to audition for Canadian squad going into the cycle for the 2015 U-20 World Cup qualification process. For Jalali, who scored his first career NASL goal on a penalty at the end of the spring season, it’s not a surprise to be named to the team. Much of the U-20 squad will be made up of the players who played at the U-17 World Cup in 2012 — and Jalali was a part of that team. A concussion forced him to miss the most recent U-20 national-team camp, but he was always a player you’d have thought would be in the rotation.

But, Boakai was part of the U-17 World Cup team in 2014; so he’s moving up in terms of age group. But, as arguably the best player of the 2014 Amway Canadian Championship, and a player who has already earned a trial stint at Fortuna Dusseldorf, his stock may be higher at this moment than any other youth player in this country’s system.

“I’m one of the youngest ones, it will be a new family.”
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FCE raves about new longer and wider pitch at Clarke Stadium

ClarkeTurfFor FC Edmonton’s players, there was cause for celebration, Tuesday.

After two and a half seasons of playing on the rock-hard, football-line filled turf at Clarke Stadium, the Eddies were able to train on the new FieldTurf surface for the first time.

“It’s quite nice,” said assistant coach Jeff Paulus. “It plays as close as we can get to real grass. I think it’s now the best artificial surface in the country. I can’t think of anything better.”

The installation of the $1.2 million, FIFA-approved turf at Clarke Stadium finishes two years worth of lobbying to get a surface that was free of the football lines. The lines can be painted on for junior and high-school football games played at the facility.

The new turf also allowed FC Edmonton the chance to expand the field dimensions — both length and width. The old dimensions saw the goal lines placed on the goal lines of a Canadian football field, 110 yards apart. The new field is now 115 yards long by 75 yards wide.
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Fury’s start to the NASL fall season mirrors that of FC Edmonton

Tom Heinemann: Had three great looks at goal

Tom Heinemann: Had three great looks at goal

The Ottawa Fury welcomed 14,593 fans through the gates of TD Place Sunday, setting a new attendance record for the modern NASL.

The fall-season home opener marked the first time the Fury had the chance to play in the brand-spankin’ new stadium. And, with the most recognizable team in NASL, the New York Cosmos, providing the opposition, it was a formula for a very good gate.

But, as the Fury had reportedly had 13,500 tickets sold a week ago, there wasn’t a huge push for seats in the week leading up to the game. So the question remains, how will TD Place look when the Fury hosts NASL games later in the season? The one danger of playing in large multipurpose stadiums is that even if you get a crowd of 7,000 or 8,000 — which is excellent by modern NASL standards — the stadium looks and feels kinda empty.

Despite the hype created by the day’s attendance number, the Fury finish the second week of the fall season with a ledger that looks a lot like FC Edmonton’s — one point to show for its first two games, and no goals scored.
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Atlanta gets its first NASL clean sheet of 2014… against FC Edmonton

FCE's Albert Watson tries to keep the ball away from Atlanta's Kwadwo Poku.

FCE’s Albert Watson tries to keep the ball away from Atlanta’s Kwadwo Poku.

A second-half free kick from Pablo Cruz represented the margin of the Atlanta Silverbacks’ 1-0 victory over FC Edmonton.

But, the real culprit Saturday night in Atlanta was the Eddies’ lack of inventiveness or finishing in the final third.

In last week’s 0-0 draw with the Ottawa Fury — a game which saw FCE coach Colin Miller bemoan his team’s lack of intensity — the Eddies could at least boast that they hit the woodwork a couple of times. They didn’t get that close in Atlanta.

It took until the 82nd minute for the Eddies to force Atlanta keeper Joe Nasco into a meaningful save. Just two minutes after coming in as a late sub, FCE teenager Hanson Boakai won a physical battle with Atlanta’s Kwadwo Poku at the top of the box, and then left-footed a curling shot towards the top corner that forced Nasco into a fingertip save. Yes, Nasco had to catch a couple of balls that were directed right at him earlier in the game, but the Boakai effort was the first chance that put the keeper to work.

And all this against a team that, before Saturday, could not boast keeping a clean sheet in NASL action this season.
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FC Edmonton likely to boost number of Fort McMurray “home” games in 2015

fort-mcmurray-aerial-twoFC Edmonton announced earlier this year that it would be playing an NASL match in Fort McMurray in the 2015 season.

Now, the team says that it’s likely that two or three league games will be played in Canada’s oil-sands territory next season.

Because Edmonton hosts more games than any other city at next year’s Women’s World Cup, Clarke Stadium won’t be available for six weeks, through June and into the first week of July. Clarke Stadium is adjacent to Commonwealth Stadium, and wouldn’t be available when FIFA takes over the site.

The number of games FCE would play in Fort Mac would depend on when the NASL schedules its break between the spring and fall seasons. But, as of right now, the team has indicated that it looks like at least two dates in June could go to Fort Mac. That could go as high as three.
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Helter swelter: Miller fumes after FCE can’t take advantage of 10-man Fury

Ottawa's Mason Trafford brings down FCE's Frank Jonke at Commonwealth Stadium. PHOTO: TONY LEWIS

Ottawa’s Mason Trafford brings down FCE’s Frank Jonke at Commonwealth Stadium. PHOTO: TONY LEWIS

Memo to FC Edmonton players: Tuesday’s training session is going to be a hellish one, indeed.

Coach Colin Miller promised that his players would be doing a lot of running at that training session after the Eddies laboured to a 0-0 draw with the Ottawa Fury at Commonwealth Stadium. The Eddies went up a man in the 56th minute after Ryan Richter, making his Fury debut after being loaned out from Toronto FC, was sent off.

But it wasn’t till late in the game that the Eddies were able to create any real chances. In the 87th, Hanson Boakai had a shot deflect off the foot of Fury defender Mason Trafford and strike the post. Then, in time added on, Horace James’s header off a corner kick also hit the woodwork.

You could argue that the posts were a sign of bad luck, but Miller wasn’t buying it. He was furious at his team for being offensively ineffective, especially with more than 30 minutes of playing time with a man advantage.

“This is the angriest I’ve been since I’ve been at FC Edmonton,” Miller said.
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Defender Beto Navarro joins FC Edmonton

Beto Navarro

Beto Navarro

In 2013, the Atlanta Silverbacks shocked the NASL by winning the spring season title and earning the right to host the Soccer Bowl.

Now that defender Beto Navarro has joined FC Edmonton, that makes three members of that Silverbacks team who are now Eddies. Midfielders Milton Blanco and Horace James joined the Eddies at the start of the season. Navarro, a centre back, has been acquired by the Eddies just in time to be eligible to play in Sunday’s fall-season opener against the Ottawa Fury.

Navarro started in last year’s Soccer Bowl, after playing 25 games in the regular season for a total of 2222 minutes played.

Navarro played in three league games for the Silverbacks in the 2014 spring season, but also appeared in four U.S. Open Cup matches.
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Raudales could be a “steal,” while Eddies look to add a couple of more players

Cristian Raudales

Cristian Raudales

It is the job of FC Edmonton assistant coach Jeff Paulus to sort through the emails and videos sent to the team by players and their agents. The wide majority don’t result in call-backs.

But there was something in the material sent by Cristian Raudales that intrigued Paulus. That resulted in an invite to the Eddies’ midseason training camp. Raudales scored last week in a friendly against the Seattle Sounders, and was signed this week.

The Honduran-American, who is from Florida, is one of three signings expected to be made by the Eddies before the NASL fall season begins for the team on Sunday. It is understood that forward Chad Burt, also on trial, is close to a deal. And coach Colin Miller said another player will arrive tomorrow — and Miller is so bullish on this prospect, he hinted that he could play on Sunday.

But he also really likes what he’s seen from Raudales.

“I think we have made a real steal of a player.”
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NASL Commissioner talks about Canada’s long-term plans, expansion and league format

Bill Peterson

Bill Peterson

NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson says his league is looking closely at one unnamed Canadian market as an expansion candidate, and is supportive of the long-term goals of the Canadian Soccer Association.

In a state-of-the-NASL conference call held Thursday morning, Peterson said he would be talking with CSA officials later in the day to discuss the organization’s long-term vision for the game in Canada. And he said the NASL would support the CSA’s vision, even if it includes the eventual launch of a Canadian Division “1A” league.

“We will have discussions with the CSA looking at the long-term future, what it looks like,” Peterson said. “We are open and supportive to what the long-term goals are going to be.”
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Eddies announce signing of Raudales

Cristian Raudales

Cristian Raudales

Cristian Raudales has transitioned from FC Edmonton trialist to roster player.

The NASL side announced Wednesday that the Honduran/American central midfielder was signed by the team.

“We’re really happy about the signing of Cristian,” said FC Edmonton head coach Colin Miller in a release issued by the club. “We’ve welcomed him into the family and he’s proven since day one that he has some terrific qualities and will be a great signing for us.”
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