Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton FC Edmonton succumbs to early pressure from the Rowdies

FC Edmonton succumbs to early pressure from the Rowdies


FC Edmonton couldn’t survive an early surge from the home team, and would later rue a series of missed opportunities, as the Eddies fell 1-0 to the Tampa Bay Rowdies Saturday night.

The Eddies were lucky to come out of the first 20 minutes of the match down only 1-0, thanks to a couple of fantastic saves from keeper Michal Misiewicz. But Misiewicz could do nothing to keep out Takuya Yamada’s shot from point-blank range. And even though FCE improved as the game went on, the team could only lament a series of spurned chances.

“They had some clear-cut chances and we had some clear-cut chances,” said defender Paul Hamilton, who was in the Eddies’ starting XI after missing the season opener due to a suspension that carried over into the 2012 campaign. “The difference was that they put one of their in the back of the net. We had about three chances inside the 18-yard box where the shooter didn’t have anyone around, and we didn’t put one in the back of the net.”

Two games into the three-match road trip to start the season, and FCE has failed to score — even though the team showed more of an offensive thrust against the 11-man Rowdies than it displayed last week against the 10-man Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

The Rowdies, playing their home opener — and the franchise first match carrying the classic NASL brand — came out of the gate with a lot of energy, and placed the FCE back four under siege. And, just eight minutes in, Tsuyoshi Yoshitake should have had the home team up a goal. After a neat, simple one-two passing play cut open the middle of the Eddies’ defence, Yoshitake found himself with only Misiewicz to beat. But, as Misiewicz came well out to challenge, Yoshitake decided to try and chip the keeper. He didn’t get enough on the ball and Misiewicz was able to catch the shot.

Misiewicz was called upon to make a much better save six minutes later. With Tampa forward outnumbering FCE defenders three to two in the penalty area, the ball came out to a wide open Luke Mulholland on the left side of the box. Instead of holding his ground, Misiewicz bravely charged down the shooter, and took the blast right in the midsection.

But, in the 19th minute, the Rowdies got their reward for their early domination. On a scrambled corner kick, FCE’s defenders couldn’t win the second ball, and it fell to the feet of Yamada, who smashed a low drive into the corner from only a few feet away.

“We had seen the game film and we knew they liked to press very high and they like to start games by putting a lot of pressure up front,” said Hamilton.

After the goal, the Eddies began to see more of the ball, and soon carved out a great chance to equalize. French striker Serisay Barthelemy was sent in past the Rowdies’ back line, but his shot was stopped by keeper Jeff Attinella.

Barthelemy would miss an even better chance in the second half. Matt Lam sent in a wonderful low pass from the right side. Barthelemy slid to get on the end of the pass. Any sort of contact would have seen the ball redirected into an open goal. But, the ball skipped past.

After Misiewicz made a fantastic diving stop on a Mulholland volley to keep the deficit at one, Attinella was called upon to make one last save — and it was it best of the night. A speculative shot from Shaun Saiko deflected off a Rowdies defender, and looped up in the air, looking destined for the top corner. But the Tampa keeper managed to dive and get his fingertips to the ball.

Kyle Porter, who had been nagged by injuries that kept him off the Canadian Olympic roster, replaced Michael Cox at the top of the FCE formation, while stalwart central defender Hamilton made his 2012 debut. It was a change to see Porter in the middle of the attack, as he had been used almost exclusively on the right side.

Defender Adam West, who left in the first half of last week’s loss to Fort Lauderdale, had flown back to Edmonton. A pulled hamstring kept him out of this game and Wednesday’s date in Puerto Rico.

“Definitely we feel bad about the first two games,” said Hamilton. “We didn’t create enough up front in our first game and we paid for it in a loss. Tonight, we were just on the wrong end of the scoreline. It could have been a 1-1 game. We could have won this 2-1.”

It was a 1-0 game. But, had either keeper decided to have an average night, the scoreline would have been much higher. But, to break their funk, the Eddies need to give their goalkeeper, who has been the club’s man of the match in each of their first two games, some needed support.

FC Edmonton’s Ilja Van Leerdam, left, challenges Tampa Bay’s Luke Mulholland. PHOTO: TAMPA BAY ROWDIES
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  1. Fc Edmonton fan

    April 15, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Pinto still has to prove he can play, but he might be a good fit. I’m surprised Paul Craig hasn’t been given an opportunity. Great vision, accuracy and touch.
    0 goals in two games and few chances created. Something has to change in their attacking tatics

  2. Fc Edmonton fan

    April 15, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    FC Edmonton has sound attacking options and it’s ridiculous they aren’t using them. Within their own club they have Paul Craig, Pinto, others. Paul Craig played 540 minutes last year, scored 2 goals and set up 3. The guy is clutch and gets no respect. Maybe instead of a fast kick and run game they can put in an actual centre forward who can compliment players on the wing like, Porter, Lam, Barthelemy (who are better on the wing).

    • Steven Sandor

      April 15, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      Pinto, right now, cannot play in games in the U.S. His immigration papers aren’t done yet. So he didn’t make road trip. But it was strange to see Porter used in the middle.

  3. CDN

    April 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Hamilton and Misiewicz had very good games. The rest of remaining 9 players didn’t do much during painful to watch 90 minutes of play. I wish to see Nana Attakora and Julian Uccello in FCE lineup. I know, I know, it isn’t level for them, but they don’t have clubs at the moment.

    • Itsnowornever

      April 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      I agree Nana and Uccello would be an ideal situation at this moment an time. A no brainer as far I am concern. What the hell are they waiting for I be on the phone right now getting them in this line up…

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