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Lam set to return to FC Edmonton after shoulder surgery

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Matt Lam should be back in FC Edmonton colours some time in February.

The homegrown midfielder was officially cut loose by JEF United earlier this month, and FC Edmonton Director of Soccer Operations confirmed that both he and owner Tom Fath have had discussions with the midfielder, and are discussing the current option in his contract.

But, Lam won’t be ready when the NASL team reconvenes Jan. 9 after the Christmas break. He will undergo shoulder surgery. He separated his shoulder playing in Japan, and it’s not the first time he’s had an issue there. Petrone said the club isn’t overly concerned about the injury — but the rehab should delay the reunion with his FCE mates till at least mid-February.

Matt Lam

“He is our player, and we are thrilled to have him back,” said Petrone. “We are negotiating with him and he is preparing to come back to us.”

Lam, who was once part of Ajax’s academy in the Netherlands, signed with FC Edmonton in 2010, ahead of the club’s season of exhibition matches as it prepared for its debut in Div.-2 soccer. Lam was the club’s top player through that exhibition season. So, when coach Dwight Lodeweges and his assistant, Hans Schrijver, accepted a lucrative deal to coach JEF United, they took Lam on loan with an option to buy the player before a Dec. 31, 2011 deadline.

But Lodeweges and Schrijver were fired before season’s end — and Lam, whose season was hampered by injuries — was not renewed.

Now FCE will have a series of candidates for the traditional No. 10 position. Ilja van Leerdam and Shaun Saiko — the latter was an NASL all-star last season — can be used in that role, and Lam can also be used there. Lam can also be pushed up to a forward position in the 4-3-3, where his guile can be used to assist target man Michael Cox.

And Lam will be reunited with Schrijver, who returned to FCE after his dismissal from JEF United.


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