Home Canadian Soccer CIS and Amateur Alberta’s task: Find a way to stop UBC’s Dosanjh

Alberta’s task: Find a way to stop UBC’s Dosanjh


This Saturday, there’s no Canadian MLS team in action. We’ll all be in a hangover state after Friday’s Canada-Cuba World Cup qualifier.

So, the CIS will have the national stage to itself. And there’s no better time to serve up the biggest, most intriguing match up of the season to date. On Saturday afternoon, Edmonton’s Foote Field will see undefeated UBC face the University of Alberta in a game that could very well be a sneak preview of the Canada West final.

The Thunderbirds are ranked No. 2 in the country. They’ve played eight times, won all of them. Alberta is ranked No. 4. The Golden Bears began the season 5-0-0, with a +23 goal difference. But, the Bears have slumped of late, winning just one of their last four.

Niko Saler
Niko Saler

But this is the kind of power match-up that CIS needs to showcase. The two best teams in what is recognized as the top soccer conference in the country — Canada West. And, if UBC goes into Alberta and wins this weekend, no matter what undefeated York does, it will be tough for the Lions to hold onto the No. 1 spot nationally.

“For us, this is a chance to get our season back on the right track,” said U of A fullback Niko Saler, who spent the 2011 season as a member of FC Edmonton. “As of late, for us, the results have been disappointing. UBC is a very good team, and we want to show, with a good performance, that we deserve to be right there with them.”

Saler, who scored against Saskatchewan last weekend, and fellow fullback Eddy Sidra are two ex-Eddies on the roster.

But, for Saler, the UBC match will see him on the pitch once again with Gagandeep Dosanjh, the T-Birds’ top scoring threat. Dosanjh and Saler played together in the Whitecaps Residency. And Dosanjh is enjoying an MVP-like season for UBC; he’s coming off a Canada West male athlete of the week performance. In two wins last weekend, he scored five goals and added three assists. He has 11 goals on the season.

As a former teammate, Saler understands just how explosive Dosanjh can be.

“He’s a very technical player,” Saler said of Dosanjh. “You can’t let him have space. You can’t let him use his skill. We have to be able to take away his time and space.”

There is one question mark for the Golden Bears this weekend; goalkeeper Jay Vetsch is nursing some bumps and bruises after a grueling couple of weeks. He played for Edmonton Scottish in the early rounds of men’s national championship in Winnipeg, then headed back to play for the U of A last weekend, in a win and a draw against Saskatchewan, then traveled back to Winnipeg for Thanksgiving Monday’s championship, which Scottish lost in penalties to Beauport.

Kickoff is set for 2 p.m., and the forecast is for an unseasonably warm autumn afternoon. For soccer fans in the Edmonton area, this match should be a fantastic way to spend the day.


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  1. L.J.

    October 12, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    They need to finish against tight defenses if they want to win. Their showing on Sunday was embarrassing, cross after cross cleared away and the only goal coming on a penalty that had the defender’s own coach screaming at him for conceding it. If they want to get back to #1 on the CIS list, at least 4 of the 6 points must be taken this weekend.

  2. john a

    October 12, 2012 at 6:26 am

    Is Eddy playing?

    • Steven Sandor

      October 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm

      Can’t ever guarantee a lineup a coach will use, but Eddy was training with the team Thursday evening.

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