Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton FC Edmonton will not challenge Whitecaps’ signing of Jalali

FC Edmonton will not challenge Whitecaps’ signing of Jalali


Sadi Jalali’s appearance this past weekend for the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency surprised more than a few Canadian soccer fans.

But none were as surprised as those at FC Edmonton headquarters. They thought they had a deal in place; if Jalali returned to Canada, he’d pledge his future to the Eddies.

But Whitecaps’ spokesman Brandon Timko said the club has confirmed that it was in the clear to bring Jalali into the fold.

Jalali, an Edmonton product and striker who scored for Canada at the 2011 U-17 World Cup, and his (former) agent struck a bargain with FC Edmonton last November. Jalali and another teen, Kianz Froese Gonzalez, joined FCE before they both left for January trials in Germany. Jalali was to head to Kaiserslautern, and Froese Gonzalez, who grew up in Manitoba but played for Cuba’s U-17 side, was to go to Mainz. Both worked with FCE’s first team with the understanding if there trials didn’t work out in Germany, that FCE would have first right of refusal on their North American rights.

But this is where it gets complicated. According to FCE general manager Tom Leip, the arrangement was made with Jalali’s agent — who was later fired by his client. Because FCE did not want to sign Jalali to a restrictive contract that would limit his options in Europe, the club made the agreement through a series of e-mails with the agent.

“This has put us in a very difficult situation,” said Leip. “This was not a situation that we could have anticipated.”

So, the club has decided not to challenge the Whitecaps on the legality of Jalali’s move to Vancouver.

“We don’t want to be put in a position where we are perceived to be hindering a young man’s progress in this game,” said Leip. “What we have is an exchange of e-mails with the player’s agent. And, for our interests, it doesn’t serve us well. We have a good relationship with the Whitecaps.”


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  1. Sherry

    April 10, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Agreed – well played FCE! Young Canadian players have enough to hinder them already. It’s nice to see that FCE has a grasp of the bigger picture.

  2. Jamonty

    April 4, 2012 at 5:48 am

    +1 PoppaTomm. Integrity already in such a young organisation. Hope it pays back in spades…

  3. PoppaTomm

    April 4, 2012 at 5:31 am

    It is classy moves like this that further commit me to FC Edmonton.

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