Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton After being cut by Impact, Jordan Ongaro returns home to try and crack the FC Edmonton squad

After being cut by Impact, Jordan Ongaro returns home to try and crack the FC Edmonton squad

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He was released by the Montreal Impact only weeks after being taken in the fourth round of the MLS SuperDraft. Now, Jordan Ongaro will try and crack the lineup of his hometown pro team.

Ongaro is now on trial with FC Edmonton, and was at the Commonwealth Fieldhouse Tuesday as the Eddies began their preparations for the 2014 NASL season. Ongaro wasn’t the only trialist on hand; former United States U-20 midfielder Brandon Manzonelli, who played his youth soccer with Spanish side Villarreal, is also with the Eddies, trying to impress coach Colin Miller enough to earn a contract.

Ongaro would be a massive feel-good story for the Eddies; his uncle, Ross, played with the Edmonton Drillers of NASL 1.0. Ross Ongaro also coached the Edmonton Aviators, the Edmonton Drillers of the National Professional Soccer League and is currently the head coach of the Chinese national beach soccer team.

Jordan Ongaro represented Canada at the 2012 CONCACAF Futsal championship (CLICK HERE), and that team was coached by former Driller Sipho Sibiya. And, Sibiya played under Ross Ongaro.

As well, Ross Ongaro coached current Impact sporting director Nick De Santis; while De Santis has been a fixture of Montreal soccer, many forget that he spent a season with the Drillers in Edmonton (1996-97).

Jordan Ongaro

Jordan spent four years at San Diego State University, and this past season led the PAC-12 with 10 goals in 19 games. But, he battled a bout of food poisoning when he got to Montreal and was a victim of the numbers game.

“This is my hometown team,” he said of the Eddies. “I always kept this team in mind. And I’m very happy to be here. I want to do well here and hopefully one day make it back to MLS.”

But having the Ongaro surname in Edmonton brings with it additional pressure. But Jordan believes he can earn a contract.

“I have to be ready to fight for a spot on the team and, after that, I will need to compete for a starting position.”

Miller said that Ongaro will be given no special quarter because he’s an Edmontonian. He’ll need to make the team on merit.

“I was delighted to hear he’d been drafted by the Impact; that’s because I want to see a Canadian player get the chance. But this next week will be a solid test to see if Jordan has a shot at making this club.”

Not only will Ongaro need to impress against the likes of returning Northern Irish forward Daryl Fordyce, he’ll also need to show he belongs with newly signed Canadian striker Frank Jonke.

And Miller said there will be more trialists coming into camp; and all of them will be attacking players, either wide options or centre forwards. Miller hinted that one of those trialists could be from Trinidad and Tobago; already, the Eddies have signed T&T international Kareem Moses, a defender. After Miller visited with former Canadian national team coach and current T&T boss Stephen Hart, he felt good about bringing Moses into the squad. And, the dialogue between Miller and Hart hasn’t stopped there.

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