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FC Edmonton looks forward to chance at killing Impact’s playoff hopes

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Alex Surprenant wants to see his old team miss the playoffs.
If the NSC Minnesota Stars can earn even a single point when it faces FC Tampa Bay Saturday, FC Edmonton can eliminate the Montreal Impact from the NASL playoff race with a win at Stade Saputo that same night.

FC Edmonton has clinched a playoff spot, but the Impact trails the Stars for the sixth and final playoff berth with two matches to go.

And, for former Impact defender Alex Surprenant, a victory in Montreal that would knock his old team out of the playoff race would be sweet indeed. If revenge is a dish best served cold, the Impact would be sushi in Surprenant’s eyes.

“It’s huge,” Surprenant said of Saturday’s match. “If I’m playing, I want to do well. I’m excited about the game. I want to knock Montreal out.”

Surprenant has started the last two FCE matches at left back. Even though Eddy Sidra is fit and is training again, the educated guess is that Surprenant will start on Saturday, while Sidra will be available off the bench.

And, even though FC Edmonton is not in control of its own destiny when it comes to earning home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs — it needs help from the last-place Atlanta Silverbacks, who can’t lose to Fort Lauderdale this weekend — Surprenant said FCE won’t be resting for its final game of the regular season. FCE isn’t looking ahead to the playoffs.

“It’s pretty important for us,” said Surprenant. “That team is going to be in MLS next year. At the start of the year, they were expected to finish in first and win the championship. Now, we can go there and knock them out.”

Kyle Porter spent the spring with the Impact after leaving the Vancouver Whitecaps’ fold; but even though the Impact wanted him to stay, the Whitecaps — which still own his MLS rights — claimed the Impact would need to send him back to Vancouver in 2012. So, Porter bounced to Edmonton.

“This shows you can’t depend on history,” said Porter of the Impact. “We are going to finish on top of them this year.”

Montreal cannot catch Edmonton in the standings.

Porter is the FCE’s second leading scorer, but has struggled of late. He didn’t start in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Fort Lauderdale, but came on as a halftime sub. He wants to get his game going this weekend as FCE revs up for the playoffs.

“I am under my goal for goals this season. I want to get my touch on the ball back. It’s coming. It’s just a matter of time.”

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