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FC Edmonton announces preseason schedule, signs three more

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Jerome Baker
FC Edmonton has announced its full preseason schedule for the Arizona portion of its training camp.

Highlighting the trip is a game against MLS Cup finalist FC Dallas, March 7 in Casa Grande, Ariz.

March 7 vs. FC Dallas
March 10 University of New Mexico
March 12 University of New Mexico
March 18 FC Tucson
March 19 AZ Sahuaros

The Sahuaros had originally announced the FC Edmonton game for March 7; so it looks like that game may have been moved to make way for the date against MLS opposition. FC Edmonton’s front office had been working away at making sure the NASL club would get at least one look at an MLS team. Even if FCD rests key players like reigning MVP David Ferreira, it will give an Edmonton lineup that’s desperately short on upper-tier pro experience some needed exposure against MLS-quality soccer. FC Edmonton will need that ahead of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship semifinal against Toronto FC; the first leg goes April 27 at Commonwealth Stadium.

Before the team heads out to Arizona, it completed the signings of three more players; defender Paul Hamilton and midfielders Jerome Baker and Alex Semenets. The roster now stands at 18.

“We’ll have 23 to 26 players there and we’re still evaluating the squad, it’s not totally picked,” assisant coach Dave Randall said in a release. “There will be new guys joining us in Arizona but hopefully by the end of this camp, the team will be picked. We’ll have 26 to 27 players and then we’ll build towards the first league game on April 9.”

Hamilton, from Calgary, was the CIS MVP in the 2009 season, where he played at Trinity Western.

Semenets has represented Canada at both the U-17 and U-20 levels and got into three USL games with the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2010, but didn’t make the jump with the team to MLS.

Baker, from Toronto, spent time at Energie Cottbus’ youth wing in Germany before moving back to Canadian soil, where he featured with the Vancouver Whitecaps residency.

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