Carolina RailHawks Archive


Eddies get last-gasp win in Carolina, as post-season race gets so much tighter

FCE's Neil Hlavaty, left, takes on Carolina's Zack Schilawski. PHOTO: Rob Kinnan-Carolina Railhawks

FCE’s Neil Hlavaty, left, takes on Carolina’s Zack Schilawski. PHOTO: Rob Kinnan-Carolina Railhawks

Far too often in FC Edmonton’s history, we’ve seen a controversial call go against the Eddies and the team hasn’t been able to get off the deck. Controversial red cards, penalties, goal decisions.

But, on Saturday, the Eddies rewrote the script. After a controversial penalty call against Edson Edward allowed the RailHawks to tie the game 2-2 on a Zack Schilwaki spot kick, the Eddies didn’t accept that things weren’t simply going to go their way. Instead, they pressed the RailHawks late into the game and into stoppage time.

And, in the fourth minute of five added minutes, Eddies’ substitute Horace James earned a penalty kick after he was ruled to have been tripped as he cut across the top of the box. Neil Hlavaty took — and converted — the last-gasp penalty. Keeper Akira Fitzgerald got a hand to it, but Hlavaty’s penalty had too much power behind it.

The final: 3-2 Eddies. And, with that, the Eddies finish their toughest road trip of the season at 1-1-1, with a draw against the Cosmos, a 3-2 loss away to league powerhouse Minnesota United, and win in Carolina.

With the win, the Eddies now pull within six points of the Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, who are tied for the fourth and final playoff spot in the NASL. The Eddies have both home and away games remaining against each of those teams. So, the Eddies can actually say they control their destiny; beat those teams and it’s a horse race for post-season spots.
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Don’t mention the score: FCE doesn’t speak of six-goal outburst against Carolina

FCE's Daryl Fordyce had a field day last time the Eddies met Carolina; but injury will prevent him from making the trip this weekend.

FCE’s Daryl Fordyce had a field day last time the Eddies met Carolina; but injury will prevent him from making the trip this weekend.

It was the final day of the NASL spring season, and FC Edmonton’s offence erupted on a Carolina RailHawks team that had more holes in it than Sharknado’s plot. The Eddies got a 6-1 win; it just might have been the most lopsided triumph in FCE franchise history.

So, when the two teams meet this weekend in North Carolina, are the Eddies looking back to the 6-1 win for inspiration? Absolutely not, says coach Colin Miller. He understands that a 6-1 result is a “freak result in professional football.”

And, on Saturday, the RailHawks will be at home, where they are usually a far different team than the one that travels. You can’t find a more Jekyll-and-Hyde team in NASL than the Carolina RailHawks, when it comes to home and road success. Five of their six wins (combined spring and fall) have come at home. When they are on the golf-green surface in Cary, N.C., there is no comparing them to the team that gets on the airplane.

“We don’t even bring it (the 6-1 game) up,” said Miller. “We have got to be prepared to face a Carolina team that is much better at home, even though recent results have shown they are not invincible at home.”
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Numbers game: San Antonio terminates the contract of Canadian Shaun Saiko

Shaun Saiko

Shaun Saiko

Maybe if Canadians were treated as domestics on both sides of the border, it would not have come to this.

But, to make room for Costa Rican international Cesar Elizondo, Canadian midfielder Shaun Saiko was released from his contract by the San Antonio Scorpions on Tuesday.

Saiko has suffered through an injury-plagued season. He had to have surgery to deal with a double hernia. Since returning to active duty, he’s been used exclusively off the bench by coach Alen Marcina. He made just six appearances this season, with one goal.

“We wish Shaun all the best as he has been a consummate professional on and off the field for the Scorpions,” Scorpions General Manager Howard Cornfield was quoted in a release from the club.
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Eddies go off for six goals against the RailHawks

Tomi Ameobi (18) watches as the ball he got his head to goes past the outstretched arms of Carolina keeper Akira Fitzgerald. PHOTO: FC EDMONTON/TONY LEWIS

Tomi Ameobi (18) watches as the ball he got his head to goes past the outstretched arms of Carolina keeper Akira Fitzgerald. PHOTO: FC EDMONTON/TONY LEWIS

FC Edmonton scored five times in its first eight NASL games of the season.

The Eddies scored six on Sunday. Daryl Fordyce scored 34 seconds into the match, the fastest goal from the start of a game so far this NASL season, and the Eddies were on their way to a 6-1 hiding of the Carolina RailHawks.

What a way to win your first league home game of the season — in attempt No. 4, the final match of the NASL spring season. Minnesota won the spring season title on Saturday night.

Fordyce had a hat trick; while Tomi Ameobi and Lance Laing each scored. At the death of the match, after a bizarre handball in the box, teenager Sadi Jalali got his first ever professional goal from the penalty spot.

“It’s been a disappointing season so far,” said Fordyce. “We know we’re a good team, and we showed it today.”
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Miller accepts that he won’t hang on to coaching job if Eddies can’t turn things around

Colin Miller

Colin Miller

As FC Edmonton heads into the final game of the NASL spring season, the numbers aren’t pretty.

FCE is last in the league in goals scored. Second last in the league table. And, the team has yet to pick up a point at Clarke Stadium, its home.

The Eddies will try and remedy the winless-at-home stat on Sunday, when they host the Carolina RailHawks, the final game of the spring season. The NASL teams will then break for the World Cup and then launch the fall season after that.

Coach Colin Miller is feeling the pressure. He isn’t going to deny it — the results haven’t been good enough. And he knows that if things don’t turn around for the Eddies, that he’ll be the one who will be taking the blame.

“One win in our first eight games, that’s a recipe for disaster anywhere in the world,” said Miller after FCE trained Thursday at Clarke Stadium. “If things don’t change, there will be changes. That’s the nature of the profession I’m in.”

And, changes could be coming on the roster, too. With Gagan Dosanjh being forced to leave the club because of a potentially career-ending knee problem, and midfielder Mike Banner ruled out for the season due to injury, there are already a couple of roster spots available to be filled. Miller said he expects some comings and goings, and that he and his coaching staff are already working to identify players who can help the Eddies. But, right now, the team is maxed out when it comes to the international slots, so any player who would come in would need to be American or Canadian.
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Historic hat trick earns Oliver the NASL Player of the Week nod

Oliver Minatel

Oliver Minatel PHOTO: Steve Kingsman (Ottawa Fury FC)

So, you bag a hat trick in your team’s first-ever win. Your name will forever be part of the club’s history.

It would make sense that the league would name you the player of the week, as well, huh?

In an announcement that surprises absolutely no one who follows the NASL on a regular basis, Ottawa Fury forward Oliver Minatel has been named the league’s player of the week.

On Saturday, Minatel scored three times and assisted on Philippe Davies’s goal as the Fury won its first ever NASL match, 4-0 over the Carolina RailHawks. Minatel’s three goals came between the 34th and 72nd minutes of play. Do the math and take away a bit of first-half added time, and you can say that he scored three times in 38 minutes.

Why is that relevant? Because Ottawa travels to Edmonton for Wednesday’s second leg of their Amway Canadian Championship preliminary round, with the winner to get the Montreal Impact in a semifinal. After the first leg ended 0-0, the Fury knows that either a win on Edmonton soil, or any draw that’s not a 0-0 result, will the team from the nation’s capital through.
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FCE coach Miller: “I should have been arrested, I was that angry” after handball call

Marko Aleksic

Marko Aleksic

The Eddies overhauled their attack in the off-season, but, after three NASL matches and one Voyageurs Cup game, the 2014 stats look an awful lot like last year.

After the Eddies fell 1-0 on the road to Minnesota United FC Saturday night, the ledger looks like this; through three league games, FC Edmonton has scored just one goal, and allowed just three. And don’t forget that the Eddies played the Ottawa Fury to a 0-0 draw in the nation’s capital last Wednesday in the first leg of their Amway Canadian Championship preliminary round.

So, the book on FCE early in the 2014 season looks a lot like 2013; awfully hard to score on ‘em, but they don’t get a lot of offensive results, either.

Coach Colin Miller said after the Minnesota match that he felt his team played some very good soccer on Saturday, that the team deserved better, but he also admitted “that I’d rather have the team play horrendous and win than play some good football and lose.”

I the column that matters, points earned, FCE has just one after three league games. Minnesota already has nine points. With six weeks left in the NASL spring season schedule, it’s pretty tough to see the Eddies leapfrogging the field and making up eight points on the leaders.
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Elementary, my dear Watson: Northern Irish defender is lone Eddie to make NASL Best XI

FC Edmonton's Albert Watson, left, tries to get around Atlanta's Pedro Mendes.

FC Edmonton’s Albert Watson, left, tries to get around Atlanta’s Pedro Mendes.

FC Edmonton captain Albert Watson is the sole member of the Eddies to make the season-ending NASL Best XI.

Watson, who was one of two Eddies on the MVP ballot (the now-departed Chris Nurse was the other) got enough votes from the league’s eight head coaches, who select the season-ending all-star team.

Watson joins Shaun Saiko (2011) and Paul Hamilton (2012) as Eddies who made the NASL Best XI.

Watson was the backbone for a defence that allowed 26 goals in 26 games this season (though Watson missed a chunk of the spring season as he recovered from an MCL injury). He came to the club from Northern Irish side Linfield FC in 2013, and Eddies’ coach Colin Miller has repeatedly said that he feels Watson is the top central defender in the league.
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As Cosmos runs away with NASL fall season, the league’s format is put to the test

Cosmos star Marcos Senna PHOTO: TONY LEWIS

Cosmos star Marcos Senna

I’ve seen the debate on this site. You see entire message-board debates devoted to it.

Should a North American soccer league have playoffs? Or should the format more reflect the league-winner-take-all format that’s common across Europe?

Well, we have as close as a test case as we are going to get in North America. And that’s in the North American Soccer League, where the winner of the spring and fall seasons meet each other in the Soccer Bowl. It’s not quite single table, but there’s no post-season outside of a championship game.

In mid-September, the NASL looked to have a dream on its hands. The top seven teams in an eight-team league were all within three points of each other. The league could boast that every game had meaning, that every game would impact the Soccer Bowl race.

But things have changed radically since then.

Sure, for most of the league, parity is still the key word. As we head into the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend, the gap between seventh place and second place is three points. Four teams are tied for second place, with 14 points each.

Alas, the New York Cosmos have been red-hot; and, in a league where draws are the norm, the Cosmos has been able to put together a series of wins and distance itself from the pack. The gap between first and those four second-place teams is at seven points.

Seven points, with four games left on each team’s schedule.
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FCE’s Fordyce named NASL Player of the Week

Albert Watson (5) embraces countryman and teammate Daryl Fordyce after FCE scored the opener against Carolina. PHOTO: TONY LEWIS/FC EDMONTON

Albert Watson (5) embraces countryman and teammate Daryl Fordyce after FCE scored the opener against Carolina. PHOTO: TONY LEWIS/FC EDMONTON

Daryl Fordyce has been named the NASL Player of the Week.

FC Edmonton’s Northern Irish striker got both goals in the team’s 2-1 win over Carolina, Sunday. Fordyce nodded home the opener after fellow Northern Irishman Alberta Watson flicked on a long throw from Corey Hertzog.

Fordyce’s second goal was smashed just underneath the crossbar at Clarke Stadium, after right back Edson Edward made a terrific run up the wing and pushed a pass to the top of the box. Fordyce made a clever run to find a dead spot in the box, where there were no Carolina defenders to be found.
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