Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton Eddies thrash Carolina 3-0, but it could have been much, much worse

Eddies thrash Carolina 3-0, but it could have been much, much worse

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You could make a strong case for Akira Fitzgerald’s inclusion in the NASL Team of the Week.

Without the stellar play of the Carolina keeper, the RailHawks would have lost to FC Edmonton by a more lopsided scoreline than Sunday’s 3-0 result at Clarke Field. Make no mistake; a 3-0 loss was a scoreline that flattered the visitors, who have become all too used to hidings on the Clarke turf.

In the previous four games against the Eddies, the RailHawks surrendered 13 goals. And Carolina could have been on the wrong end of a 6-0 or 7-0 score on Sunday,

Thanks to a combination of generous giveaways and slack defending by the visitors, the Eddies had a three-goal lead at halftime, thanks to goals from Tomi Ameobi, Lance Laing and Dustin Corea, the latter’s first NASL marker. But, consider that Fitzgerald stopped Laing on a breakaway, after the Eddies’ left winger blew around Chris Nurse, Carolina’s tough-as-nails holding midfielder who was shuffled to right back on Sunday. As well, Ritchie Jones had an effort go off the crossbar. Consider that the RailHawks gifted the ball to the Eddies in the final third time and time again through the first half.

“We gave the ball away, and they put it in the net,” observed RailHawks coach Colin Clarke.

The first goal came courtesy of a brutal giveaway by Carolina midfielder Wells Thompson, who was subbed off before the 20-minute mark. Corea picked up the ball and threaded through to Ameobi, who rolled the ball into the corner of the goal.

Corea said that he and Ameobi had spoken during practice about making just that kind of play; Corea said that he likes to cut in off the wing and then look for that through ball.

The second goal came after midfielder Thiago de Freitas broke up a Carolina set piece. The RailHawks were slow to react to the turnover, and de Freitas released Laing with a quick pass. For half the length of the field, Laing and teammate Ritchie Jones had a two-on-one break. Laing opted to keep the ball, cut across the top of the Carolina box, and then placed a shot inside the post.

Another giveaway allowed Corea to get the ball and fire a left-footed shot inside the post, his first for the Eddies.

Despite the 3-0 lead, FCE coach Colin Miller complained that his team “started the game like pensioners.” He felt that the Eddies were giving away the ball too easily.

Carolina keeper Akira Fitzgerald makes a save on FCE winger Lance Laing. PHOTO: TONY LEWIS/FC EDMONTON
Carolina keeper Akira Fitzgerald makes a save on FCE winger Lance Laing. PHOTO: TONY LEWIS/FC EDMONTON

“If we’re playing a team that’s on top of their game we’re going to get punished.”

Miller felt the team played much better in the second half; ironically, the Eddies didn’t add to their lead in the half in which their play actually improved. But, it wasn’t for want of trying. The Eddies had chance after chance; and, credit to Fitzgerland, even with the points all but lost for his team, he hung in and put on a goalkeeping clinic.

He made a great stop on Daryl Fordyce, then another save on a point-blank chance from Laing. But it didn’t stop there. He made a save-of-the-week candidate stop on Jones, flying to his left to stop a strike. He made another save on Laing, then gathered in a shot from Ameobi, when the FC Edmonton forward had the presence of mind to swing at a loose ball in the penalty area while he was laying flat on his back.

Miller said it was important for his team to be “ruthless,” to not allow the RailHawks any glimmer of hope for a comeback.

The only downer for the Eddies was that, late in the game, Sainey Nyassi had to come off after he stepped on the ball and fell awkwardly on what looked to be clean breakaway on goal.

Now, the Eddies have scored 16 times in their last five games against the RailHawks.

A pizza franchise gives free pies to ticket holders each time the Eddies score three times in a home game. That pizza firm might want RailHawks games to be exempt from this promotion in the future.

The Eddies moved up to second place in the NASL fall table, four points behind the Ottawa Fury, which lost its first game of the fall campaign on Saturday.

 

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11 Comments

  1. left back

    August 17, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Let’s take a walk down memory lane and remember a player named Rick Titus. Very good footballer. One of the best i have ever had the pleasure of playing with. When the Aviators called a ‘press conference’ on the lawn of O’leary school…. Rick called a spade a spade and told the organization that it was ‘Micky Mouse’…. which was so true… it was a joke… he was quickly moved on but at least he didn’t let Ongaro / Patrone bully him and he had the stones to tell the truth.

    I feel that Hanson is getting poor treatment. I feel that he is good enough for a better level and sometimes because of his age and size he gets taken advantage of. Is Hanson good enough for La Liga or a quality team in Germany? Time will tell. One thing i know for sure is when / if he does make it… he won’t have a kind word to say about CM… I am sure CM is trying to show him what it is like to play on top level teams and the commitment required…. but the reality is simple… it is not top flight football and so treating FCE like Glasgow Rangers is ridiculous. The level is what it is and you have to set your expectations of players accordingly.

    When you are required to take public transit to training… you must wonder. When you play on turf full time… you must wonder. When your paycheck has less than 4 zero’s…. you must wonder.

    I really hope that Hanson turns into a hargreaves / hirschfield / de guzman / hutchinson story and plays at a top club one day. Maybe then people will listen when he talks about Canada soccer and how petty and mickey mouse some of these stories with FCE really are.

    Coaches are there to support… not kill their spirit.

    Reply

    • Nathan

      August 18, 2015 at 9:23 am

      I feel like you make contradictory statements here. You insinuate that FCEd is “Mickey Mouse”, but then say that they should look the other way for one player. In my opinion, if you’re going to have a professionally run, respected club, then you need to hold all players to the same standard. We tend to be big on Hanson because he’s local and we’ve seen serious flashes of brilliance from him. However, he NEEDS to be held to the same standard as other players. Moreover than that, if he is late, shows and attitude or whatever, sits out some games and other players impress, then they SHOULD be given a chance to play more. Same as you would see within any other professionally run club. I don’t think there’s anything “top flight” about holding players accountable. Hanson is a young man, and should be held to the same as not only other professional athletes, but also other professional workers his age.

      Miller has made it clear that he is not holding any double standards, it would appear through his statements that he considers Hanson the same as any other player. Which is how I would expect any player to be treated.

      For what its worth, Hanson also does drive. After the Woodall Cup game, I saw him pulling up in a (older) SUV. So no excuse there.

      Reply

      • cwell

        August 18, 2015 at 10:05 am

        Agreed. Pro soccer (sports) is a treacherous business, and if Boakai is to make a success of it, he’ll have to overcome many trials and tribulations along the way. Without knowing the details, I have the impression that he’s fortunate to have a chance to learn this from a coach who appears to have his interests at heart.

        Reply

  2. left back

    August 17, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Well… the Pan Am games ended July 26th with the closing ceremonies… so i imagine HB has been back in Edmonton more than 4 weeks. I did hear that he showed up late for the first meeting back after the games…. how long does CM hold a grudge for? More than 4 weeks?

    One thing CM didn’t say is the circumstances around him being late. No disrespect to HB but… does FCE pay him enough to buy a car? Doesn’t look like he comes from the wealthiest family so him taking the bus to training is extremely possible. Maybe the 120 Stadium northbound was being held up that day because of an accident?

    Maybe he rides his bike to training and he got a flat? We aren’t dealing with Manchester United and the parking lot at Clarke is not filled with BMW’s…. so… getting to training for a kid his age may not be the simplest thing in the world… i would like to know more behind the story… i am sure Hanson has a different version of why he was late. Maybe his dad was supposed to give him a ride and his dad got held up at work?

    Maybe CM is being difficult and has zero sympathy for Hanson. I don’t know… he seems like he is that type of manager.

    Reply

    • Steven Sandor

      August 17, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      In my time covering FCE there have been quite a few players who used transit to get to training/games. Can’t recall other issues with tardiness.

      Remember that HB was also late for a game last season.

      Point being, no matter what line of work you’re in, how you get to work will not excuse you for being late or missing work.

      HB has also not been frozen out since the incident. He’s been in uniform in recent games, including recent Fort McMurray trip.

      Reply

      • cwell

        August 17, 2015 at 2:25 pm

        Bottom line: he has to follow the same rules as the other players. The manager would be making a big mistake if he let one player arrive late, not once but twice, and let it slide. He’s doing Boakai a favour by sitting him out a game. If he was in Europe, he’d be off the squad.

        Reply

  3. left back

    August 17, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Great result guys! Carbon copy of last year as the fall season seems a good fit for FCE.

    Does anyone know the situation with H. Boakai? Last thing i heard he showed up late for a team meeting and CM wasn’t having any of it. Is he frozen out of the team for good now? After a very good display in the Pan Am… i was hoping he could bring that form to FCE.

    CM showing some old school Scottish tough love? I think so…. ;-(

    Reply

    • Nathan

      August 17, 2015 at 10:13 am

      From what I’ve heard, Hanson hasn’t exactly been the model player. Rumor had it that he showed up late to the first team meeting back from the PanAm games. Don’t know if he’s “frozen out”, but I would def suggest that the club is treating him like they would any other player… If you don’t act professionally, there will be consequences. There’s also a VERY crowded midfield right now, and I would suggest that a player like Sadi is more deserving and in better form in the league right now.

      Reply

      • Steven Sandor

        August 17, 2015 at 11:45 am

        Not a rumour. CM spoke about it publicly and confirmed that it was why HB was out of lineup.

        Reply

  4. cwell

    August 16, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    One hopes that the Eddies’ fans were pleased with this performance.

    Reply

    • Nathan

      August 17, 2015 at 8:31 am

      Seems there will be some that will never be pleased with FCEd’s performances. “Should have played more Canadians”, “Should have scored more in the second half”, “Soccer will never do well in Edmonton”, etc etc.

      Reply

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