Home Business of Soccer FC Edmonton unveils new road kits, shirt sponsor

FC Edmonton unveils new road kits, shirt sponsor


To Chris Lemire, the difference is like night and day.

Lemire is the only member of FC Edmonton who spent the 2004 USL season with the Edmonton Aviators, which declared bankruptcy halfway through the season, had its offices cleaned out, was taken over by the league and finished the season under the Edmonton FC name.

It was an embarrassing time in the city’s soccer history. But it looks as if history won’t repeat itself with FC Edmonton. The new NASL franchise already has something the Aviators never enjoyed: a shirt sponsor.

FC Edmonton unveiled its new all-white road kits and its sponsor, Sears Financial, at a media event Thursday. A new blue home kit is still to come, and there are plans to work on a special third jersey. Toronto FC used its grey kit as a third jersey in Nutrilite Canadian Championship games last season. The Montreal Impact tried a pink jersey during NCC games.

“It is way better,” said Lemire “We’re not always worrying about what is happening in the office. We don’t have to worry about who is paying for the plane tickets before the next road trip. We worry about on-the-field stuff.”

FC Edmonton owner Tom Fath and David Boone, Sears Home Services’ regional vice-president of operations, were on hand with the entire squad to unveil the new home kits.

FC Edmonton keeper Rein Baart, Sears Home Services Regional V-P David Boone and midfielder Shaun Saiko.
Local product Shaun Saiko, who spent time with Middlesbrough’s youth set-up before coming back home in 2010 to play a series of friendlies with FCE, remembers the Aviators — and says that FC Edmonton has an entirely different feel.

“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a long time,” he said. “My dream was to be able to play professional soccer in my home town. We have a great opportunity. We have a great owner. Everything here has been done so professionally.”

The club spent the better part of the last month in Arizona prepping for the season. All 23 of the players on the roster will leave Saturday for a training camp in Sunrise, Fla. — where the Canadian national program prepares in the winter months. Coach Harry Sinkgraven will put his club through its paces for a week, preparing for the April 9 NASL season opener against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

After the week, injured players and extras will be sent home to train, and the club will begin its three-game road trip with 18 or 19 players on hand.

Getting a sponsor is key: But having one on board with a logo that’s recognized throughout Canada and the United States gives the club the feeling of stability, something that is lacking in Division-2 soccer.

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