FCE coach Miller worked on Mitchell deal for months; LeRoy returns to Eddies as a trialist By Steven Sandor Posted on March 12, 2013 2 0 654 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Carlyle Mitchell As soon as Colin Miller became FC Edmonton’s new head coach last November, he began working on a deal to bring central defender Carlyle Mitchell from the Vancouver Whitecaps to the Eddies. Miller was an assistant with the Whitecaps in 2011, the club’s first MLS season, and saw Mitchell perform for three months with the club. And while the Trinidad and Tobago international has struggled to get minutes in Vancouver, playing in just five MLS matches over the last two seasons, Miller had a good idea what Mitchell could bring to the FCE backline as a regular starter. Mitchell will get that chance in 2013, as he’s on a season-long loan to the Eddies. “When I became coach, the first phone call I made was to (Whitecaps’ president) Bob Lenarduzzi asking about the availability of Carlyle,” Miller said after training Tuesday. “I saw what he could do for three months there and I knew he could help the team here. He has got pace, athleticism and experience. And with him and Albert Watson (the former Northern Ireland U21 captain who is out with a torn MCL), they will provide experience and leadership. And in the long run, that will help or young Canadian defenders, Mallan Roberts and Chris de Guise. It will really benefit them.” There could be another Canadian centre back in the picture, too — not Paul Hamilton, the NASL Best XI pick remains with the club but is still not under contract. The team confirmed that Ottawa’s Adrian LeRoy, who spent the 2011 season with the Eddies but only got into one match and was cut at the end of the season, is back. LeRoy will arrive in Edmonton Tuesday night and will begin a trial with the club, after he impressed at the NASL Combine back in February. Mitchell took part in his first training session with the Eddies Tuesday, after the loan deal was agreed to on Monday. Mitchell had known for a while that he was headed to Edmonton, but had to sit and wait until the paperwork finally got done. “I’m not disappointed to leave Vancouver,” said Mitchell. “I’m excited to be here. I am excited to have the chance to get some playing time. Hopefully, I will be playing a lot of games. I hope I can, as long as I can stay healthy.” Mitchell will leave FCE on the 18th, as he heads to the Caribbean to meet with the Trinidad and Tobago national side, where he’ll be available for friendlies against Belize and Peru. He’ll rejoin FCE on March 27, in time to play in friendlies at Trinity Western University against the University of British Columbia and Gonzaga University. He’ll miss the start of FCE’s training stint in the Vancouver area, which sees them face the Whitecaps on March 26. As is common practice with loan deals, Mitchell cannot play against his parent club, so he won’t be able to play for the Eddies in the Amway Canadian Championship semifinals against the Whitecaps. That two-legged series begins April 24 at Commonwealth Stadium. Mitchell did play against Edmonton in last year’s ACC semifinal, which the Whitecaps won. But, even after a day of training, he recognized very little from what he saw then and what he sees now. “This team is completely different,” said Mitchell. “They have a lot of good young players , a lot of young guys. I think this is going to be a very good team.” NOTES: Striker Elvir Gigolaj had to leave practice Tuesday with a foot injury — he was sent to the hospital for x-rays.