Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton Giveaway after giveaway: Eddies offer up their worst performance of the NASL season

Giveaway after giveaway: Eddies offer up their worst performance of the NASL season


In his early days as FC Edmonton manager, Colin Miller presided over some very poor defeats.

But, in his eyes, Sunday’s 2-0 loss at home to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers trumped them all.

“That’s as bad as we’ve played since I’ve been manager,” Miller said after the match.

“The players let themselves down. And if they’ve left themselves down, they’ve let me down.”

The Eddies produced more turnovers than you’d find in a bakery. And, they really only created one scoring chance of note — and that came in the second half with the Eddies already down a goal. And, in true comedy-of-errors style, sub Hanson Boakai and winger Lance Laing got in each other’s way when the ball sat in the Fort Lauderdale penalty area with keeper Josh Ford down and out on the turf.

The Eddies had no shots on goal in the first half. The Strikers defended deep, not allowing the home side to unleash its counterattack. Strikers coach Gunter Kronsteiner hailed his team for perfectly sticking to the game plan and taking three points out of what he called one of the hardest places in the league to come in and win.

The Eddies No. 1 keeper, Matt VanOekel, failed his fitness test Sunday morning; his hip-flexor injury wouldn’t allow him to play. John Smits, the former Eddies No. 1 who has slipped to No. 3 on the depth chart, was out with an elbow problem.

So Tyson Farago — who was named to the NASL team of the week in his only previous start, against Atlanta at the end of the 2014 season — was given the nod, with young Christian Kaiswatum making the bench as the back-up.

Farago and centre back Albert Watson were the only FCE players on the pitch who, in the coach’s estimation, would get passing grades. And he said he expects the reserve players to be ready to impress in this week’s training sessions as some of Sunday’s starters might be grabbing the bench in the team’s next match.

Farago could do little on either of Stefano Pinho’s goals. The first came from the penalty spot; the second came from a point-blank-range effort that was put into the top of the goal.

The penalty came in the second half, after central defender Kareem Moses was called for taking out Stefano in the area. Moses protested that he got all ball, as he slid to cut out the cross from winger Walter Ramirez. The fact that the ball went off Moses and well outside the area gave credence to his claim that he got the ball first. But referee Pierre-Luc Lauziere disagreed, and pointed to the spot.

Eddies keeper Tyson Farago can’t stop the penalty kick. PHOTO: TONY LEWIS/FC EDMONTON

Maybe, just maybe, it would be easier to argue the call if the whole sequence that led to the challenge in question wasn’t set up by such a brutal Eddies’ giveaway. But Ramirez was set free on the wing to make that cross after a terrible turnover from Eddies’ midfielder Thiago de Freitas, who, under no pressure at all, presented the ball to the Strikers.

Minutes after that play — and after de Freitas had coughed up the ball a couple of more times — his coach had seen enough and subbed him off. Winger Dustin Corea, who had got a goal and assist the week before against Carolina and was named the NASL team of the week, also got an early yank. The Winnipeg native was called into make a couple of good saves to keep his team jn it as it left itself short in the back. His best came as he raced across the goalmouth to stop Dani Sanchez’s close-range volley.

“They just hit us on the counterattack and stretched us wide,” Farago said.

But, the Strikers finally got that second goal late in the second half. And, it came on a two-on-three break; while the Eddies had sacrificed a defender, they still had enough at the back to deal with a two-man rush. But, Stefano was able to get the ball in the middle of the area to seal the three points with his second goal of the game.

Had the Eddies been able to get the three points, they would have vaulted into fourth in the NASL combined table — and into a playoff spot. Instead, they sink to sixth, behind Fort Lauderdale on goal difference, two points behind the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

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  1. left back

    August 25, 2015 at 10:00 am

    “the players let themselves down… and if they’ve themselves down, they have let me down.” quote by CM

    What does that really mean? I hate when coaches go into this whole ‘you’ve let your team mates down’ and ‘wasn’t good enough today’ and this whole train of thought. It is stupid. No one goes out with the intention of playing poorly. You never hear top manager go on about it. It is childish. Like the players are on purpose trying to have a bad game. Coaches need to deliver tactical information. Assess a player honestly and if not up for it on the day… ring the changes. That is what it is about. FCE gave the ball away repeatedly… so play route one until your confidence grows. Change the players on the field to influence the game. Adjust. Rethink. Change the message. That is what good coaching is all about.

    Thiago was poor… but should have come off because he took fall from a height onto the back of his head. He gave the ball away repeatedly after that and looked out of it. That should have been sub #1… 20 min in. Dustin C was having a shocker… should have been off at half. Sub #2. Really not getting any offense going… bring on Hanson. Sub #3.

    To give CM credit… he did get the personnel right…. just way to late in the game. It was over by the time the subs came on. Switching to 3 in the back was desperate. They really lost their shape at that point and it was still only 1 nil.

    Anyway… in games like that maybe it doesn’t matter what changes are made… it just isn’t happening… and that is a reflection of training and the message in the room.

  2. left back

    August 24, 2015 at 1:10 am

    pvr d the game and just watched in now. Yep… that’s as bad as i have ever seen them play. Absolutely awful. Worst game of football i have seen in a long time. Jeez… it took CM way to long to ring the changes as well… the team was playing brutal… at half time i thought there would have been some changes.. but it took him until the 60 th minute… it should of been done after 30 min. Anyway… not sure what CM says before games but… team lacked desire and unity. Hope it is a one off.a

  3. Kahkakew Yawassanay

    August 23, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    The only thing more consistent than FCE’s inconsistent play and results are their usual excuses…every week there are excuses for their poor play, mistakes and overall inconsistent play..if excuses were worth any type of revenue Miller would be a trillionaire..

    • footy

      August 24, 2015 at 3:53 am

      You might want to look up the word “excuse” in a dictionary, cause all I can hear him say are facts.

      But an underwhelming performance indeed. Eddies this season win when you don’t expect them to, and loose games which you would count on they’d win. It’s hard to see them reach the playoffs with these inconsistencies.

      Is Roberts btw injured? It’s been a while since he was in the lineup (or on the bench even).

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