Over the years, Major League Soccer has received more than its fair share of criticism for playing games during international dates.
But, as more and more North American Soccer League players get the calls to play for their countries, that league should also be subject to the same scheduling scrutiny. In fact, you could argue that NASL teams are less equipped than the MLS teams are when it comes to dealing with games on international dates. NASL rosters aren’t as deep as MLS rosters; when the star players of NASL get called up to play for their countries, it’s harder for their coaches to replace them than it is for the MLS coaches to replace their national-teamers.
This coming weekend, FC Edmonton will lose Lance Laing to Jamaican World Cup qualifying duty. The Eddies already lost their talisman for most of July because of the Gold Cup. The Eddies could also lose right-winger Sainey Nyassi, who is on the long list to represent Gambia next weekend. He’ll find out in the next 48 hours if he’s made the roster. The team is planning for him to be gone.
It’s bad enough to have a home game on the last long weekend of the summer, when the fans you want in the seats are away at festivals or the lake or the cottage. (At any league level, teams fight against having home dates ‘awarded’ to them on holiday weekends.) But FCE will have to play that game shorthanded.
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