Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton Eddies can’t afford to try and manage the second leg against the Whitecaps

Eddies can’t afford to try and manage the second leg against the Whitecaps

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Last year, in the second leg of the Amway Canadian Championship semifinal, FC Edmonton had the Montreal Impact on the ropes. The aggregate score was 4-4, but the Eddies held the advantage on away goals.

A 96th-minute penalty allowed Montreal to take that tie; a year later, the Eddies have learned lessons from that.

So says striker Tomi Ameobi, who has scored in each of his last six competitive matches — Cup games and NASL. He and his Eddies teammates will host Vancouver in the second leg of their semifinal Wednesday at Clarke Field.

“That was the lesson we learned from the last Montreal game, that you need to go on and win the game, that you always have to take the game to the opponent,” said Ameobi over the phone. (Disclosure: I was sick today and, as a professional courtesy, stayed away from training. Don’t want to pass a bug to players on either team.)

Once the Eddies got the goal to tie the aggregate score at 4-4, they defended for the last portion of the game, repelling attack after attack before Patrice Bernier buried the penalty kick. This year, the Eddies have the advantage by getting a 1-1 first-leg result at BC Place. But Ameobi says that the Eddies can’t try to nurse the score.

“We know that Vancouver will bring a strong team, and they will come at us right from the beginning. But, with players like Laingy (Lance Laing), Sainey (Nyassi) and Ritchie Jones, we are looking to attack. We are dangerous on the counterattack. Our attitude will be that we have to go out and win the game.”

Remember that the Whitecaps have been better on the road than at home this year, and that FC Edmonton holds the dubious distinction of allowing the most goals in NASL this season, 15 in just six games. But the Eddies are tied for the lead as the NASL’s top offence, with 11 goals. Add to that seven goals that the Eddies have scored in three Cup contests this season.

So, it would take an awfully brave gambler to lay money down on a 0-0 result Wednesday.

Ameobi’s run is a big part of the Edmonton offensive explosion.

“No, in my career I have never been on a run of form like this,” said Ameobi. “But the credit can’t just go to myself, it has to go to my teammates. Players like Laingy, Sainey, Jones and Daryl Fordyce.”

But Ameobi, like Jones and defender Kareem Moses, didn’t see the field in Sunday’s 3-2 loss to San Antonio. Laing and Nyassi only came on as second half-subs and got about a half-hour each. While Ameobi understood coach Colin Miller’s reasons behind resting select players on the team, it made for a very frustrating afternoon.

“Definitely, it was hard to watch. A couple of players were rested, but it’s frustrating because you feel like you are able to play. But, at the same time, you understand that you’ve played a lot of games, and there are a lot of players, based on how they’ve performed in training, who deserved a run-out. But it was hard, considering we came back twice and then looked like we were going to go on and win the game.”

As for Wednesday, Miller said it’s important that Edmontonians treat this as a Cup final and fill the stadium.

“Definitely, it doesn’t matter who is in a Vancouver shirt, they are one of the best teams in MLS. I think they are the fastest team in MLS. But, we can’t go out and treat the Whitecaps like they’re Germany. We will give them the same respect we would give to any visiting team. I have looked at them and I see weaknesses there, just as I am sure (Whitecaps coach) Carl Robinson has looked at us and seen weaknesses in our game. But we can’t sit back.”

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6 Comments

  1. footy

    May 20, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    It has less to do with personal priorities than with physical impossibilities. Hope they can do well tonight!

    Reply

  2. Charles Dumont

    May 20, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Mr. Sandor, I think you should have visited the Vancouver locker room…

    Although I have reservations about CM as the manager for FCE, I think he’s absolutely right to put the emphasis on the ACC. Beating a MLS club will do more for the supporters and fans than merely being competitive in the spring season. Besides, the weekend game against SAS could have been different without some silly mistakes that even the guys rotated in for the match should not make.

    Allez Eddies!

    Reply

  3. left back

    May 19, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    you can tell by the line up selection that CM is putting more emphasis into the ACC then the nasl league… i am not sure i agree with that… i think it is important for CM to put his personal feelings aside and do what is best for the organization… chances are slim of FCE getting through… he kinda sacrificed the league game against the scorpions for a chance of winning tomorrow night… doesn’t make a lot of sense… the team is almost last in the league… again… for the 100th time…. and i remember CM going on about being judged on his wins and losses… well.. yes… we are judging you…. he just wants to get one over on his old team… very petty in my opinion….

    another quote to put on my growing list… ‘elephant and castle defending’… is he calling it pub league defending like the elephant and castle pub on whyte ave or is it something else… never heard that before in all my years of football….. ?

    and again it is silly…..

    Reply

    • italk2u

      May 20, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      A lot more Edmonton sports fans will stand up and take notice of this team if they win the ACC semi final tonight. That’s why it makes perfect sense for the team to put more emphasis on this than the game against what was a last place team in the NASL last Sunday.
      And you can bet CM made that decision on the suggestion of one Tom Fath.

      Reply

  4. Kahkakew Yawassanay

    May 19, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Even with their strongest side they will be very fortunate to win this game….a 0-0 tie will see them through but a misfiring Caps squad last week let them off the hook…after the Eddies scored courtesy a giveaway, they sat back..sitting back with a small roster, crazy schedule has them going into this match as underdogs…here is hoping they surprise and fluke their way to the CCL finals a la Montreal, where one of the mexicans club hands them their jockstrap

    Reply

  5. cwell

    May 19, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Go gettum, Eddies!

    A TFC Fan

    Reply

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