Shaun Saiko Archive

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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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4

FCE dominates NASL-leading Scorpions

Horace James scores the opening goal after a howler from Scorpions' keeper Josh Saunders.

Horace James scores the opening goal after a howler from Scorpions’ keeper Josh Saunders. PHOTO: FC EDMONTON/TONY LEWIS

The San Antonio Scorpions came into Sunday’s game with FC Edmonton sporting a 6-0-0 road record in 2014. The Scorpions had a perfect 4-0-0 record in the NASL fall season. The Eddies had just one home win all season, and were winless and goalless in three previous NASL fall-season matches.

Of course, the Eddies would win handily, beating the Scorpions 3-1 and allowing only one shot on goal all game long — a first-half penalty-kick from Eric Hassli. From open play, the Scorpions didn’t generate a single shot on goal.

Funny game, this soccer.

“They are the best team in the league, record wise, but we matched them,” said FCE winger Lance Laing, who set up two goals.

And Laing said the goals and the victory helped ease what has been a frustrating start to the fall season. The Eddies now have four points from four matches, and now clear out of town as Edmonton is one of the host cities for U-20 Women’s World Cup.

“We love it here,” said Laing. “We hope we can give the fans what they deserve.”
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0

Saiko, Cann and Marcina: San Antonio Scorpions have a very Canadian feel

Shaun Saiko, in green, trains with the Scorpions, Saturday.

Shaun Saiko, in green, trains with the Scorpions, Saturday.

The San Antonio Scorpions media guide doesn’t use -our in words like colour. They don’t use the metric system in that part of Texas.

But, there’s no mistaking the Canadian content on this team, which sits at the top of the NASL fall-season table and boasts the best overall spring-fall record in the league. If the season ended today, the Scorpions would have home field advantage throughout the NASL playoffs, er. championship tournament. (Remember, we’re not supposed to call them “playoffs.”)

Coach Alen Marcina is a former Whitecap who hails from Surrey, B.C. Former Toronto FC player of the year Adrian Cann is on the roster. And, of course, Shaun Saiko, FC Edmonton’s all-time leading scorer, is also with the team. All three were in suburban Spruce Grove Saturday evening, as the Scorpions prepared to take on the Eddies. That game goes Sunday at Clarke Stadium.

Saiko has not started a game for the Scorpions since returning to the lineup after he underwent surgery for a double hernia. For six weeks, he was feeling pain and pressure before getting the double-hernia diagnosis. He doesn’t know if he’ll get a chance to play on Sunday, though we all know he’s dying to get a shot to play in front of his friends and family.

“It’s exciting times to get to play in front of the fans I played in front of for four years, almost. It’s fun to see them and play in front of them,” said Saiko.
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10

Will Shaun Saiko return to Edmonton this weekend? Colin Miller says “I couldn’t care less”

Shaun Saiko

Shaun Saiko

After an injury-filled spring NASL season, Canadian midfielder Shaun Saiko is healthy again.

Now, the question: Will he be with the San Antonio Scorpions when the team travels to Edmonton for this Sunday’s date with FC Edmonton? Will FC Edmonton’s all-time leading scorer, now a member of the Scorpions, get the chance to return home and play against his former team?

If there is any Saiko-mania this weekend, FCE coach Colin Miller won’t hear of it.

“I couldn’t care less about Shaun Saiko anymore. We don’t pay his wages anymore. He left our club and it’s history. I have no interest in San Antonio or Shaun Saiko. I’m interested in the guys that are here. This is how I feel. These are our players, the club has moved on, the club is evolving and we’re in a good place. Unfortunately, we’re where we are in the league, but progress is being made.”

FCE hasn’t scored yet this fall season, and has one point from three games. The Scorpions have played four times, and won all of those matches. They are already 11 points ahead of the Eddies in the standings.
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Saiko won’t discuss the emotions of a San Antonio-FCE match; “what’s done is done”

Shaun Saiko

Shaun Saiko

Those hoping to see a Shaun Saiko vs. his old team storyline on Saturday may be disappointed.

Saiko, FC Edmonton’s all-time leading scorer and former poster boy of the franchise, has been out of the San Antonio Scorpions’ lineup with injury, and his status for Saturday’s
match against the Eddies is doubtful.

The Eddies visit San Antonio on Saturday night. The Eddies will have to pick themselves up emotionally after Wednesday’s at-the-death elimination from the Voyageurs’ Cup. And they will need to somehow be ready to deal with the Texas heat even though the Cup/NASL schedule has them playing their ninth match in four weeks.

The Scorpions, coached by Canadian Alen Marcina and featuring Canadian defender Adrian Cann, are three points behind Fort Lauderdale and Minnesota for the NASL spring season lead. The Strikers and Loons play each other this week, so a win for the Scorpions mean they gain on someone. But a loss — or even a draw — will mean that the Scorpions will lose ground to the team that will be at the top of the standings at the end of the weekend.
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3

Love or hate the NASL’s 9-game spring-season sked, it made for a heck of an opening weekend

Ritchie Jones: Held back in Edmonton, but was cleared to start — and set up the equalizer in Tampa.

Ritchie Jones: Held back in Edmonton, but was cleared to start — and set up the equalizer in Tampa.

In MLS, a month and a half into a marathon where 10 of the 19 teams make the playoffs, it’s hard to make the argument that any game is really important at this stage. We’re still trying to ascertain the weaknesses and strengths of teams around the league, and no match has a do-or-die feel.

Now, whether you love or hate the NASL’s decision to create a spring season in which each of the 10 teams plays a nine-game schedule — with one of the top two playoff, er, “Championship” seeds going to the league champ — there’s no doubt it brought a sense of immediacy to the opening weekend. After just one week, we can seriously discuss which teams are on their way to being contenders (Minnesota, New York Cosmos) and which teams had disastrous opening weekends that badly damaged their spring seasons (we’re looking at you, San Antonio Scorpions).

As for FC Edmonton and the Ottawa Fury, the stakes weren’t as high because they were both burning road games on the abbreviated schedule. The key to winning the spring season will be making sure to take care of business at home. The Fury is still feeling the bitter sting of losing the season opener 2-0 at Fort Lauderdale; but those who hold optimism for the expansion franchise can point to the fact that five of the eight remaining games on the schedule will be at Carleton University, where the turf and odd lines should provide a significant home-field advantage.

As for the Eddies, a 1-1 result at Tampa — despite hitting a post and failing to convert a penalty in a game that saw them significantly outplay the host Rowdies — isn’t bad at all. FCE was one of five teams that had five road games and just four home dates on their schedules. Now, the Eddies have burned arguably their most difficult road date (FCE doesn’t have to visit the New York Cosmos in the spring) and didn’t allow the Rowdies to get three points out of a home game. Now, the rest of the Eddies’ schedule reads four at home, four away.

With a day to reflect on the draw, coach Colin Miller said that 1-1 was a bittersweet result.
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2

FC Edmonton updates its roster, opens up international roster slots

Lance Parker, foreground, and John Smits at an FCE training session.

Lance Parker, foreground, and John Smits at an FCE training session.

On Monday, FC Edmonton’s brass brought in each of its players for face-to-face end-of-season meetings. And, on Tuesday, the club announced the status of all its players who were under contract at the end of the 2013 season.

Before the meetings, we knew this: Midfielder Chris Nurse had turned down the club’s contract offer and will explore free agency (CLICK HERE). He already said his goodbyes to the club and the supporters. All-time leading scorer Shaun Saiko, after being sent to train with the reserves through the final stretch of the season, is now a free agent. And striker Michael Cox, out since September with an MCL injury, turned down a contract offer and he and his new agent will explore options in Europe.

And, the rest of the squad:

GOALKEEPERS:
Lance Parker: FC Edmonton’s No. 1 and the club continue their contract negotiations.

John Smits: The option on his contract was exercised and he’ll be back in 2014.

Norbert Janas: Brought up from the reserve team midway through the year, the young Canadian keeper won’t be back with the Eddies in 2014. He’s now a free agent.
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2

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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4

Fordyce’s brace gives FCE its second win of the fall season

RailHawk Paul Hamilton, left, challenges FCE's Daryl Fordyce. PHOTO: TONY LEWIS/FC EDMONTON

RailHawk Paul Hamilton, left, challenges FCE’s Daryl Fordyce. PHOTO: TONY LEWIS/FC EDMONTON

FC Edmonton began the post-Shaun Saiko era with its second win of the fall season.

Daryl Fordyce scored twice, pacing the Eddies to a 2-1 win over the Carolina RailHawks. The big winners out of the weekend? The New York Cosmos. With Carolina’s loss, the gap between the Cosmos and the RailHawks (tied for second place) is now seven points.

With the fall season winner going to the Soccer Bowl and no playoff structure, with four games left the NASL’s final weeks is looking more and more like a lame-duck stretch run.

The RailHawks followed a familiar pattern: Unbeatable at home but strugglers on the road. The Eddies had all of the real first-half chances. Before Fordyce scored the opener, he had a chance to put the Eddies ahead inside the 20-minute mark.

A Lance Laing free kick hit Carolina keeper Akira Fitzgerald in the midsection; the rebound spilled to the middle of the area, where Fordyce had an open net. But a fantastic last-ditch sliding challenge from RailHawk and former Toronto FC defender Julius James disrupted what looked like a gimme.
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21

Saiko’s time with FC Edmonton comes to a close

Shaun Saiko

Shaun Saiko

Shaun Saiko’s time with his hometown FC Edmonton side is coming to an end.

The club’s all-time leading scorer wasn’t at training at Clarke Stadium Friday. And Eddies’ coach Colin Miller confirmed that supporters won’t be seeing Saiko with the team again. Saiko will finish the season training with the youth side, and won’t be brought back next season.

“There were a number of different reasons,” said Miller. “Things didn’t just work out for Shaun here. He won’t be back with us next year and he isn’t going to train with the first team.

“I wish him well, wherever he will be next season.”
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