Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton Goalkeeping carousel: Parker, Smits make the road trip for FCE, while Monsalve left at home

Goalkeeping carousel: Parker, Smits make the road trip for FCE, while Monsalve left at home

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FC Edmonton coach Harry Sinkgraven usually lets his keepers know the day before a game who is going to get the start.

And, for Saturday’s game in San Antonio — he can choose to give Lance Parker his first NASL start since last June, or he can stick with the hot hand with John Smits, who recorded a clean sheet against Atlanta last week.

If Parker gets the start, it would mean that, just seven games into the season, Sinkgraven will have used all four of the goalies on FCE’s roster in league play. The former Chivas USA goal keeper suffered a compound fracture in his arm during a game against Carolina last June, as he tumbled awkwardly to the turf after going up over the back of then-RailHawks striker Etienne Barbara. Parker then suffered a stress fracture in his left foot as he rehabbed in Miami.

Smits, a standout from the University of Toronto, got his first professional start last Saturday, and made a couple of key saves early in the second half as FCE beat the Silverbacks by a 2-0 count.

Left off the road trip was David Monsalve, who surrendered five goals over two legs to the Vancouver Whitecaps in the Amway Canadian Championship semifinal (despite saving a penalty), but posted a clean sheet in win over Carolina. Smits came in after the second loss to Vancouver. While he is carrying a knock, word from FCE is that it’s a coach’s decision.

At the start of the year, Director of Soccer Joe Petrone said it was vital for FCE to have four keepers (national U-23 keeper Michal Misiewicz started FCE’s first four games of the season), as last year the team ran into huge trouble at the position because of the injuries to Parker and then-third keeper Jaswinder Gill.

But, it would have been hard for anyone to believe that FCE would have dressed all four of its keepers just a month and a half into the season. And, if Parker plays, it will be astounding — because it’s hard to think of any other pro soccer club that would have used four keepers over a seven-game span.

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