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FC Edmonton signs four players

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Shaun Saiko
FC Edmonton has announced the signings of four players who spent the 2010 season with the club.

Dutch goalkeeper Rein Baart and Alberta products Shaun Saiko, Kyle Yamada and Michael Cox have all signed for the 2011 NASL season.

Baart played in the UEFA Cup with NEC Nijmegen before making the move to Alberta. Saiko, an Edmonton native, played in Middlesbrough’s youth system and has represented Canada at the U-15, U-20 and U-23 levels. With the departure of Matt Lam to JEF United of the Japanese second division, Saiko will likely be the poster boy for the club — the local player who can have the greatest impact on the roster.

Yamada, a midfielder who has played beach soccer for the Canadian national side, and Cox, are both Calgarians.

Of the 10 players FCE currently lists on its roster, seven are Albertans. The team leaves for training camp in Arizona next week, with two matches to come against the University of New Mexico and another against club team AZ Sahuaros.

When FCE faces Toronto FC April 27 at Commonwealth Stadium in Nutrilite Canadian Championship play, it’s hard to imagine that at least half of the home team’s lineup won’t be Alberta prospects. While we don’t know how the team will perform on the pitch, it will be a place for Alberta soccer to show whether or not it produces the prospects who can keep up with the MLS boys.

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