Colin Miller’s postmortem: Searching for scoring, more on Michael Cox, possible NASL rule changes By Steven Sandor Posted on November 6, 2013 12 0 657 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Colin Miller Colin Miller said he knows that if there isn’t a significant improvement in FC Edmonton’s fortunes next season, that he might be out of a job. “If we finish in the same position next year, third from the bottom, I’ll be out of a job,” said Miller. “No one needs to tell me that.” The FCE coach made himself available to the media on Tuesday, after the team updated its fans on the status of its roster (CLICK HERE). FCE finished third from the bottom in both the spring and fall NASL sessions, the product of 11 1-1 draws recorded on the season. (The team had 12 draws total over the two halves of the NASL campaign.) And Miller promised that finding scoring is the No. 1 priority for the club. With Robert Garrett, Carlyle Mitchell and Chris Nurse not returning to the team, and defender David Proctor’s situation up in the air, three or possible four international slots may open up. Two attacking players have already been identified by FCE, and word is one signing may be announced shortly after this weekend’s Soccer Bowl. Miller said that with the spring season only being 10 games long in 2014, he will use all seven slots and not hold any in reserve. The winner of the spring sprint will host the Soccer Bowl. This weekend, Edmonton is expecting frigid temperatures and snow, and that’s the norm for November. Imagine what kind of home advantage that would be? But Miller said there has been discussion in the league of allowing each team an eighth international player, as long as that eighth international roster slot has been taken by an international at a youth level (below U-23). League officials are expected to give the teams their final say on the proposed change, soon. The team already announced that it was losing striker Michael Cox, who decided to try the European route. “Cox was a player that I can assure you, from the owner and myself, was someone we worked hard to try and keep,” said Miller. Miller said the club and Cox’s original agent had come to terms on a new contract. But then that agent was replaced, and the new agent and the striker formed a new plan for his career. “I was very disappointed,” said Miller. “I told Michael that he was getting bad information, in my opinion.” Miller felt that Cox would be better served working as an apprentice striker in Edmonton, a Canadian player at a Canadian club, rather than rolling the dice in Europe. “There are one million Michael Coxes trying to make a living in Europe.” Miller said the “door is closed” on Cox possibly making a return to FCE if the European experiment didn’t work out. Midfielder Chris Nurse, who was one of two Eddies on the league MVP ballot and was named the team’s player of year by the players themselves, informed fans he had turned down FCE’s contract offer. But Miller said the club had rescinded the offer. “I decided to take it away. “Chris was a better player in the second season and contributed going forward.” Miller thanked Nurse for the season he gave to club. The club still has four decisions to make: Contract negotiations are ongoing with keeper Lance Parker, fullback Antonio Rago and defender David Proctor. Wes Knight’s contract is up at the middle of the month and there is a 30-day period after that to decide what to do for next year. “I don’t want (Parker) to leave,” said Miller. “I hope we can come to an agreement.” As for one of the other up-in-the-air players, there is a willingness to stay. Proctor hinted that the crux of the negotiations will be on how he fits into Miller’s plans next year. He spent much of the season on the bench, and didn’t feature as a starter until later in the 2013 campaign. “I’m 29 years old,” Proctor said. “I need to play every single week. If that’s not the case (in Edmonton), then it’s something I need to think about.” But Proctor said both he and his wife enjoy Edmonton and want to stay. “The team, you can say it’s progressed. Not as much as we would have liked, but there are certainly a lot of positives. We are getting to where we want to be.” As for the stands at Clarke Stadium next year, general manager Rod Proudfoot is already hopeful for better attendance numbers in 2014. “We already have more season tickets sold now for next season than we did on February 1st this year, before the last season,” said Proudfoot. While single tickets will increase in price, the team is holding the line on season tickets. Proudfoot said the per-game cost for season-ticket holders won’t rise in 2014 over 2013. There will be two more home games on the schedule, five in the spring season and then 10 in the fall season.