Home Global Game CONCACAF If Laing goes to the Reggae Boyz, FC Edmonton will have a massive hole to fill

If Laing goes to the Reggae Boyz, FC Edmonton will have a massive hole to fill

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If Lance Laing enjoys an extended period with the Reggae Boyz, FC Edmonton will have to learn to play without him on the left wing.

Laing was named the team MVP by the Edmonton Supporters’ Group in 2014 and has two goals and three assists in five NASL games this season — basically producing an average of a goal per game for the Eddies. He’s been named to Jamaica’s 30-man provisional roster for the upcoming Copa America.

Jamaica is playing in the Copa America as a guest team — and is in a group with Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Laing said the roster will also apply to this year’s Gold Cup.

“It was a good feeling [to get the call],” Laing said Friday after FCE’s training session. “I think it was coming. It’s the preliminary squad of 30 and they will cut seven guys prior to Copa America.

“It’s all coming from the fall season, I came in this year knowing I could do the same things that I did in the fall season.”

It was just ahead of the 2014 NASL fall season where FCE coach Colin Miller elected to move Laing from left back to a left wing position. After that move, he became the most dangerous left-sided player in the league.

Assistant coach Jeff Paulus said FCE is hopeful that Laing will make the final cut.

But Laing said that Jamaica won’t have a camp before the Copa America; he says that the final 23 will simply be told that they are going and seven will be told that they’ve missed the cut.

“I’m surprised, I thought there would be something like a 15-day camp.”

But, if Laing does make the grade, he would be required head to Chile for Copa America preparations on May 29. The Eddies are scheduled to play the Ottawa Fury in the nation’s capital on May 29, and then on the road to the Rowdies on June 6 and the Indy Eleven June 13.

But Laing said he’s hopeful that the Jamaican Football Federation would grant him an extension to stay with the Eddies till June 6, so he’d only miss the game against Indy.

The Gold Cup is slated to go July 7-26; if Jamaica lasts till the later rounds of the tournament, Laing could miss up to five Eddies matches in July.

Will Laing make the final 23? He has one major advantage; he plays on the left side, and having a natural left-sided player is an awfully nice perk for a coach, rather than trying to force a right winger to switch to the left — as happens in more than a few national-team set-ups.
Paulus thinks that a Laing absence could offer a needed lesson for the Eddies.

“We will have to look to play a different way, and that could be a blessing, because we have to learn how to mix it up.”

Obviously, if an NASL player makes it to the Copa America, it’s a PR coup for the league.

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One Comment

  1. Steedman

    May 17, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    A huge congrats to Laing!!! Sure it sucks for the Eddies, but hope this guy is a staple with the Reggae squad for a while

    Reply

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