Carolina RailHawks Archive

3

Laing scores directly off corner, adds assist as Eddies beat Ottawa

Lance Laing is mobbed by his FCE teammates after scoring directly off a corner kick.

Lance Laing is mobbed by his FCE teammates after scoring directly off a corner kick.

In the middle of the week, Lance Laing signed a contract extension that will keep him in Eddies blue and white into the 2015 season. And, on Saturday afternoon in the nation’s capital, he once again showed off why he’s become such a valuable part of the team.

In the first 21 minutes of a must-win match against the Ottawa Fury, Laing set up Chad Burt’s opening goal and then scored directly off a corner kick. An assist and a goal, and the Eddies defended the fort for the remainder of the game. The final — 2-0 to FC Edmonton, and it puts the Eddies just one point back of fourth spot in the NASL overall standings.

Carolina, now one point behind the Eddies, faces the Strikers, who are a point ahead of the Eddies in the race for the final playoff spot, later Saturday. The best scenario for FCE is that the Strikers and RailHawks play to a draw. Because of a massive goal-difference advantage, the Eddies will almost certainly take any tiebreakers with Fort Lauderdale or Carolina. If the two rivals draw, the Eddies will be in control of their playoff destiny; that’s because the Eddies face Fort Lauderdale in Florida next week and then host Atlanta on what will likely be a cold November afternoon at Clarke Stadium.

But, for now, the Eddies can be comfortable in the knowledge that they have done their job by putting all of the pressure on their rivals for the playoff spot.

“I am so very proud of the guys,” Miller said after the game. (It was hard to hear him over the phone because of the FCE players who were singing in the dressing room.) “I actually think we could have scored two or three more. We started off the game with a bit of a wobble but then we started to play. I don’t think we allowed them a shot until the 46th minute.
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1

Eddies extend Laing, Ameobi; release Milton Blanco

Lance Laing PHOTO: FC EDMONTON/TONY LEWIS

Lance Laing PHOTO: FC EDMONTON/TONY LEWIS

If you had to pinpoint the turning point of FC Edmonton’s season, you should go back to the final game of the spring season. As an experiment, coach Colin Miller moved Lance Laing from left back to the left side of midfield.

Since then, Laing has no doubt been Edmonton’s most valuable player, and has entrenched himself as the best left-sided player in NASL. The Jamaican has six goals and five assists, and has tormented opposing fullbacks with his speed.

And Laing is guaranteed to return next season. The Eddies announced Tuesday that it had inked Laing and striker Tomi Ameobi — who both take up international slots on the roster — to contract extensions. Terms of the contracts were not released.

Ameobi scored his fifth goal of the season in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Carolina, which put the Eddies just four points back of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers for the fourth and final playoff spot in the NASL with three games left to go — including what will be a do-or-die showdown two weeks from now in south Florida.
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1

Eddies continue their domination of Carolina with three-goal win

FCE's Tomi Ameobi (centre) gets set to celebrate as the ball slides by Carolina keeper Akira Fitzgerald. PHOTO: TONY LEWIS/FC EDMONTON

FCE’s Tomi Ameobi (centre) gets set to celebrate as the ball slides by Carolina keeper Akira Fitzgerald. PHOTO: TONY LEWIS/FC EDMONTON

For the last week, FC Edmonton defender Mallan Roberts has been in a competition with Lance Laing. As the team worked on finishing in training, Roberts wanted to show Laing that he could score more goals than him.

Roberts came into Sunday’s game with Carolina with one career goal; he scored his second just five minutes into the match, and it spurred the Eddies to a 3-0 win at Clarke Stadium. The win puts the Eddies just four points behind Fort Lauderdale for fourth spot (and the final post-season spot) in the NASL overall standings.

“I’ve been working on my finishing all week,” said Roberts with a wide smile on his face after the game. “I have to give credit to Lance Laing. He’s always saying that I can’t finish. So, we had a competition in training to see who could finish more. I won in training and I think that I won again today.”

After Neil Hlavaty took a free kick, the ball bounded around in the penalty area and Roberts corralled it. He shook off one Carolina defender, then poked the ball past another defender. He then slotted a shot inside the far post. It was a finish taken with the composure of a veteran striker, not a young centre back.
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5

Will Eddies feast on roasted RailHawk this Thanksgiving weekend?

Lance Laing feasted on the RailHawks the last time the  two teams met in Edmonton. PHOTO: TONY LEWIS/FC EDMONTON

Lance Laing feasted on the RailHawks the last time the two teams met in Edmonton. PHOTO: TONY LEWIS/FC EDMONTON

It feels kinda fitting that, on the Thanksgiving long weekend, the Carolina RailHawks will be visiting Clarke Stadium.

That’s because FC Edmonton has feasted on roasted RailHawk, with a side of potatoes, so far this season. In two previous meetings, the Eddies have got all six available points, and scored a total of, gulp, nine goals. The Eddies scored six on the RailHawks the last time they came to Clarke Stadium.

So, the key on Sunday is to forget all of that. The Eddies certainly won’t be expecting another six-goal eruption against a Carolina team that has made several signings during the fall season that have been designed to make it tougher to play against. This past week, the RailHawks signed former Sporting Kansas City midfielder Alex Martinez.

“We don’t look at past wins or past matches, to be honest,” said Eddies captain Albert Watson. “We’re just taking every match as it comes. Look at the last game against Tampa (a 1-1 draw), we should have won the game. It was a diabolical call by the referee (which gave the Rowdies the equalizer on a penalty kick) and I’ve looked at it again a bunch of times and I still don’t know what he’s called there. That’s the way it’s gone for us this year and we have to get on with it.

“So, we’re not going to look past games. We know Carolina has added strong, strong to their squad over the last six weeks. It seems like they’ve added a player every week. They’re going to be a tough team to play against on Sunday.”
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5

Unkel’s controversial call, Pickens’s great saves deny FCE a win in Tampa

Tampa Bay's Blake Wagner, left, tries to shield the ball from FCE's Eddie Edward.

Tampa Bay’s Blake Wagner, left, tries to shield the ball from FCE’s Eddie Edward.

The Eddies played well enough to leave Tampa with three points and new life in their chase for a post-season spot.

But, a controversial decision from referee Ted Unkel and some very good late stops from Tampa Bay Rowdies keeper Matt Pickens forced FC Edmonton to settle for a 1-1 draw with the Rowdies. Frankly, at this stage of the season, that result doesn’t do much good for either team.

The Eddies entered the second half with a 1-0 lead thanks to a goal from Chad Burt. And, for the first 20 minutes of the second half, the Eddies were able to slow down the game. At halftime, FCE coach Colin Miller said the Eddies weren’t there to entertain the fans in Tampa, they were there to get the job done. And it was so far, so good — the Eddies were able to control the pace of the game down on a choppy surface.

And, then, it all changed with one blow of a whistle. Unkel blew a play dead after a cross went into the FCE area. A few players had gone down in the scrum. The Rowdies players went to complain, as they were sure the foul was being called on them. But Unkel, instead, pointed to the spot, claiming that FCE defender Kareem Moses had impeded the Rowdies’ Keith Savage.

Georgi Hristov buried the penalty kick.

To add insult to injury, Moses had to leave the game shortly after — Miller said he suspects that the fullback has a broken rib; but that’s not confirmed by a medical official. Moses will get X-rays to determine the extent of the injury.
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2

Eddies not sure if unexpected weekend off will hurt or help the Rowdies

Lance Laing  puts the ball past Rowdies keeper Matt Pickens. Two weekends ago, the Eddies beat Tampa, 1-0. PHOTO: FC EDMONTON/TONY LEWIS

Lance Laing puts the ball past Rowdies keeper Matt Pickens. Two weekends ago, the Eddies beat Tampa, 1-0. PHOTO: FC EDMONTON/TONY LEWIS

As FC Edmonton trained Thursday at Clarke Stadium, a winter wind whipped across the field. There were a few snow flurries in the air. The thermometer read 1 C, but the wind made it feel much colder than the freezing mark.

Forward Tomi Ameobi said it was much colder than at any time during the time he played professionally in Iceland.

It won’t be that cold on Saturday, when the Eddies are in Tampa Bay to face the Rowdies, who they defeated at Clarke Stadium just two weeks ago. The stakes are high; the Eddies are six points behind Carolina for the fourth and final post-season spot — based on the overall standings. But Tampa is just one point behind the Eddies, with two games in hand. Fort Lauderdale is one point ahead of the Eddies (in fifth place) with a game in hand.

So, you could argue that the Eddies need to beat Tampa away and then make sure to beat Carolina at Clarke Stadium two weeks from now to remain in the chase.

The game in Tampa will offer an interesting contrast; leading up to a game in Florida, the Eddies have been training in icy Alberta conditions. Meanwhile, the Rowdies had last weekend’s scheduled match against Fort Lauderdale postponed — so they may be rusty (or well-rested, depending on your perspective).
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3

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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1

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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1

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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14

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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