Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton FC Edmonton defender Matthijs heads home to Netherlands

FC Edmonton defender Matthijs heads home to Netherlands

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Veteran Dutch defender Paul Matthijs left the FC Edmonton fold on Friday — and chances are he won’t be back.

The team, which didn’t work out Friday, announced Saturday that Matthijs has left Edmonton for the Netherlands, where he will get surgery to help with a back issue that’s kept him out of the lineup since the spring.

Matthijs had tried working out with the squad over the past couple of weeks — and had tried to avoid surgery when he first got news of the hernia problem.

Matthis left Edmonton on Friday. The Dutch veteran was brought into the fold in 2010 — during FC Edmonton’s season of exhibition matches scheduled to help a young side mature before making its NASL debut in 2011 — to bring stability to the backline. While he didn’t play much this season, he has been present at FCE’s practices and has been key in helping centre backs Paul Hamilton and John Jonke mature into one of the best partnerships in NASL.

Matthijs’ contract is up at the end of the season, and it’s unlikely he’d be back for 2012.

FCE will also be without left back Eddy Sidra for Sunday’s match against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers at Foote Field. Sidra left at halftime of last weekend’s match against NSC Minnesota and missed Wednesday’s playoff-clinching win over Atlanta.

FCE is two points ahead of the Strikers for fourth place in the league — and a home game in the opening round of the playoffs. But FCE has just two games left, while the Strikers have three left — so it is vital that the Eddies get the three points and essentially make the Strikers’ game in hand moot.

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