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FC Edmonton still waiting on NASL combine lists

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The NASL combine is set for this weekend. FC Edmonton is looking to stock its roster.

But the team has yet to receive a list of which players are eligible for selection.

“I don’t know who is on the players’ list,” said FCE coach Harry Sinkgraven. “There is no players’ list available at the moment.”

Sinkgraven said he has targeted a couple of key areas where the club needs to improve, but he’s not going to address them publicly. Right now, FCE has 19 players in camp, and wants to bring the roster up to 26 in time for the NASL opener against Miami FC on April 9. The team is expecting to see a list of players available for the combine in the next couple of days.

Right now, Sinkgraven is continuing the process of bringing in two trialists a week, but so far none of those have panned into signings. As it stands, FCE will be a team that’s backbone will be made up of local elite players, who will have the chance to prove that Alberta can nurture talent at a level that can compete with Ontario and British Columbia.

As the club’s brain trust prepares to head to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. for this weekend’s combine, the team is also looking to finalize the preseason schedule. FCE is hopeful that it can bring its players to Arizona and hopefully get some training games in against MLS opposition. Vancouver is training in Arizona and would be a prime dance partner. Real Salt Lake is also training down there, but are on an entirely different schedule because it needs to be ready to face the Columbus Crew in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League qualifier in less than a month.

Harry Sinkgraven

“It’s still not for sure where we will go,” said Sinkgraven.

If the team goes to Arizona, it would likely mean that Sam Lam and Antonio Rago, who also star for the Drillers of the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League, would need to cut their indoor seasons short.

Sinkgraven is in his second month on the job after he was brought in to replace outgoing coach Dwight Lodeweges, who used an out clause in his contract to take a job with JEF United in Japan. Lodeweges steered the club through the 2010 season, where it played a series of friendlies.

“I’m still new, but I think we will have a good team,” said Sinkgraven. “They are good players, technically. I have been satisfied with what I have seen. We are going to need to work on tactics, communication, what’s required of the players. They need to understand each other’s weaknesses and strengths.”

But Sinkgraven is confident that, when FC Edmonton kicks off, NASL will have satisfied the U.S. Soccer Federation’s criteria for achieving Div. 2 status. The USSF, after removing its seal of approval on the NASL a couple of weeks ago, will revisit the issue at its meeting Feb. 10-11.

This was supposed to be the meeting where USSF was supposed to rubber-stamp the NASL Div.-2 application, anyway.

“I don’t know much about it, I’m new to it,” said Sinkgraven of the USSF-NASL politics. “I think we’ll be OK.”

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4 Comments

  1. Scott Kerssen

    February 4, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Actually, Hank, There has been a D2 draft in years past. When the USL’s D2 was known as the A League, they would hold a two or three round draft each year. It was fairly meaningless, as drafting a player meant that the team would have first approach rights amongst all other A League teams that would only last a couple of weeks or so, but it was a draft. The draft was discontinued in the mid ’00’s.

    For instance, Defender Brian Roberts was drafted by the Minnesota Thunder in December of 2003. He decided to sign with the KC Wizards instead, but was loaned to the Thunder in midseason.

    http://www.umkckangaroos.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=18300&ATCLID=204778410

    Reply

  2. paul

    February 1, 2011 at 3:10 am

    Uh, what? There is no draft. That would be news to a lot of people.

    Reply

    • Steven Sandor

      February 1, 2011 at 4:17 am

      Thanks for the comments. (For those wondering what these responders are talking about, I originally used the term “draft” along with combine, suggesting that a draft — at least in the North American sports-league sense — would be undertaken). Yes, players can be selected after the combine, but it is first-come, first-serve — or, a player can choose the better offer. There is some frustration out there that the GMs still don’t really know who will be auditioning for them in less than a week.

      Reply

  3. Hank

    February 1, 2011 at 2:57 am

    Ahhhh, this whole article is sort of embarrassing. There is no NASL draft nor has their ever been an NASL draft. In fact there has never been a D2 draft or a D3 draft. It’s unique to MLS only.

    Sad that this foreign coach didn’t know that but the question may be, did he get led down that direction by said reporter?

    Reply

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