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FCE will split into two groups for long trip to Puerto Rico

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FC Edmonton is sending two caravans to Puerto Rico.

The 5,600-kilometre trip is so daunting, so logistically difficult for a travelling contingent of 22 people, that the only way it can be done is to break the group into two. On Wednesday afternoon, after FC Edmonton’s training session, Group One will head to the airport and begin their journey to the Caribbean, routing through Minneapolis and New York. On Thursday morning, the second crew will leave, routing through Minneapolis. The two groups will meet up in Puerto Rico Thursday night. The Eddies face the Orange Agents of Puerto Rico FC on Saturday night, before heading to New York for Wednesday’s game against the Cosmos, a make-up date for the game that was scrubbed so the famed Gotham club could play a friendly in Saudi Arabia.

The Eddies triumphed in their only visit to the island last season, a result they hope to emulate against a club that, just a couple of weeks ago, cleaned out its front office, including coach Adrian Whitbread. Former Toronto FC defender Marco Velez is the team’s interim coach.

The Eddies are coming off a 2-1 win over the Indy Eleven — but the club knows just how daunting the trip to the Caribbean will be.

“It’s an incredibly difficult venue,” said FCE coach Colin Miller. “They just changed their coach two games ago. I watched both their games since the takeover and they have got a different look about them. He (Velez) has certainly given every player a chance to play. The lad Gentile (forward Giuseppe Gentile) is playing very well at the moment. He’s a genuine risk.”

Miller said the team needs to bring “that organization, that spirit” from Saturday’s win to Puerto Rico, and to New York.

Fullback/midfielder Allan Zebie, who was removed at halftime of Saturday’s game with a hamstring “tweak,” is doubtful for Puerto Rico, said Miller. He may miss the Puerto Rico portion of the trip entirely and join the team in New York.

“There’s no point in risking Allan with so many games still left to play,” said Miller

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