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FC Edmonton adds T&T international, slams FC Tucson

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FC Edmonton added some Caribbean flavour to its lineup — and then hammered developmental side FC Tucson 6-1 Friday night in the NASL club’s second to last preseason tilt of its Arizona trip.

The first-year NASL team has signed Trinidad and Tobago attacking midfielder Conrad Smith (who also goes by “Conrod Smith,” but he has informed the club he prefers “Conrad”), who most recently spent time with the Caribbean nation’s most famous club, Joe Public FC.

Smith arrived in Arizona Thursday and played on the wing for FCE in Friday’s win. While Smith didn’t figure in the scoring, Edmonton native and former Middlesbrough youth player Shaun Saiko had a massive night, scoring three times and setting up another.

While the game was played in the desert, the conditions were soggy — thanks to man-made conditions. To keep the fields green in desert conditions, they are heavily watered; the pitch got a drenching about 90 minutes before kickoff, and the field was waterlogged when the game began.

But Calgary’s Kyle Yamada got FCE off to a solid start with a 17th-minute goal; then Saiko began to put his stamp on the game, setting up Chris Lemire with a great cross. Saiko made it 3-0 before half when he converted a penalty after teammate Paul Matthijs was fouled in the box.

After picking up a yellow in the second half, Saiko scored two more to give himself the natural hat trick. He slammed home a screamer of an effort from 25 yards out, then Lemire returned the favour, setting up Saiko’s third goal with a great cross.

Yamada got his second goal of the game to make it 6-1.

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