Home Canadian Soccer CIS and Amateur FC Edmonton signs CIS players, offers tryout to former D.C. United defender

FC Edmonton signs CIS players, offers tryout to former D.C. United defender


FC Edmonton has brought in a long list of new players — and welcomed back an old one — as the 2012 training sessions kicked off Tuesday.

Matt Lam, who was on loan last season to Japanese side JEF United, was on the sidelines at the Victoria Soccer Centre’s indoor facility, wearing an FC Edmonton training kit. He likely won’t be cleared to play for another six to eight weeks, until after he recovers from shoulder surgery.

Two Canadian trialists were also on the pitch with the club Tuesday; Congo-born defender/holding midfielder Ladi Bushiri would be the biggest player on the roster if he makes the squad. He’s a massive presence and a left footer. Bushiri, from the same Ottawa Fury side that produced Adrian LeRoy — a defender who spent last year wit FC Edmonton but has since been released — was playing in Jakarta, Indonesia, over the past two season.

Another left back, Dominic Roberts, was also in camp. Roberts, from the Greater Toronto Area, played at Southern New Hampshire University.

“He’s another left-footed fullback, and we have been trying to improve that left side,” said FCE Director of Soccer Operations Joe Petrone.

Barry Rice

Petrone also announced that former D.C. United right back Barry Rice, who tried out late in 2011, will be invited to camp. Concussion problems hampered Rice’s progress in MLS, but he was a two-time Conference USA defender of the year with the University of Kentucky.

And, keeping with FC Edmonton’s theme of having its doors open to Canadian collegiate prospects, Petrone announced the signings of two more former CIS standouts. Expect to see ex-University of Toronto keeper John Smits as FCE’s third keeper in 2012, behind David Monsalve and Lance Parker in the depth chart. But Smits could see a lot of action in the reserve squad.

And St. Mary’s forward Elvir Gigolaj, who was one of the stars of the 2011 CIS Men’s Soccer Championship held in Victoria, wowed in his trial with FC Edmonton and is likely to stick with the team. Gigolaj helped St. Mary’s get all the way to the CIS final. He scored in the championship game, but the Huskies fell to the hosts. Gigolaj scored two extra-time goals in the semifinal win over the University of Alberta.

Gigolaj went to school out East but is an Ontario native. Because there has been so much interest from Ontario-based players in trying out for FCE, the team is looking at holding a Toronto-area combine in March.

“We are considering it,” said Petrone, “ but it’s not a guarantee that it will come to fruition this year.”

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One Comment

  1. Jeff

    January 11, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Interesting new trialists. I suppose it speaks volumes of the density of prospects in the GTA when an Alberta-based team tactically looks at holding a GTA-based combine. It’s a tough pill to swallow for all of us out west, but reality isn’t always what you wish it could be.

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