Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton Miller accepts that he won’t hang on to coaching job if Eddies can’t turn things around

Miller accepts that he won’t hang on to coaching job if Eddies can’t turn things around


As FC Edmonton heads into the final game of the NASL spring season, the numbers aren’t pretty.

FCE is last in the league in goals scored. Second last in the league table. And, the team has yet to pick up a point at Clarke Stadium, its home.

The Eddies will try and remedy the winless-at-home stat on Sunday, when they host the Carolina RailHawks, the final game of the spring season. The NASL teams will then break for the World Cup and then launch the fall season after that.

Coach Colin Miller is feeling the pressure. He isn’t going to deny it — the results haven’t been good enough. And he knows that if things don’t turn around for the Eddies, that he’ll be the one who will be taking the blame.

“One win in our first eight games, that’s a recipe for disaster anywhere in the world,” said Miller after FCE trained Thursday at Clarke Stadium. “If things don’t change, there will be changes. That’s the nature of the profession I’m in.”

And, changes could be coming on the roster, too. With Gagan Dosanjh being forced to leave the club because of a potentially career-ending knee problem, and midfielder Mike Banner ruled out for the season due to injury, there are already a couple of roster spots available to be filled. Miller said he expects some comings and goings, and that he and his coaching staff are already working to identify players who can help the Eddies. But, right now, the team is maxed out when it comes to the international slots, so any player who would come in would need to be American or Canadian.

Also making things interesting is the fact FCE loses its training ground during the break. The new turf is coming into Clarke Stadium, and the team is hearing varying estimates on how long it will take to tear out the old turf and have the new stuff in. The Eddies will train in the suburbs of Spruce Grove during the break. But, concerned that Clarke might not be ready in time for the fall season, there is a contingency plan in place to move the July 13 fall season opener against the Ottawa Fury to Commonwealth Stadium. The scenario is simple: If Clarke isn’t ready, the Fury and Eddies will move next door to Commonwealth.

But before thinking about the fall season, the Eddies need to finish out the spring.

“It’s massive for us,” said Miller. “We want this win so badly. The players to a man are desperate for a result for our fans.”

The NASL gives the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the post-season “Championship” to the winners of the spring and fall seasons. But seeds No. 3 and No. 4 will be the teams that have the next-best overall records in the league — spring and fall combined.

“The way I look at it is that it’s not a break between a spring and a fall season,” said Miller. “The way I look at it is that we still have 19 games left, and we need to get up to the fourth position.”

The team has been working this week on having more players join attacks, to have midfielder make offensive runs. Miller hears the critics. And he hates some of the tags that have been associated with him and his teams. He knows the Eddies have scored at a pace of less than a goal per game. But he’s working to encourage more players to take risks and get forward.

“It’s a terrible thing, to get tagged as a ‘defensive coach.’ All I want is that when we don’t have the ball, that the players are made aware of their responsibilities defensively.

“I’m as positive a manager as any I’ve seen.”

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  1. Perry Singer

    June 17, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Well I guess miller must have a plan for it. We cannot just judge a coach.
    Keep it up.
    Thanks for the updates.

  2. James

    June 10, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    One of the biggest budgets in the NASL, and arguably the worst team. I agree mostly with many of the posts here. CM has alienated a very strong local player base and a large chunk of FCE’s fan base. Colin may be a charming bully but one really has to question his ability to manage a club and its players at any level.

    Paulus is certainly worth a try. He has a better relationship with the city, the players and his record shows that he probably has a better understanding of the game.

    Proudfoot needs to go too. Not sure what on earth he’s done to make any kind of difference. Not exactly a very innovative sort of guy. His name like Colin Miller’s, draws yawns and frustration.

    Fath is aces in my books but he needs better people surrounding him.

  3. Soccerfan

    June 8, 2014 at 4:08 am

    I was getting ready to write a three page essay that Sandor would have to take an hour off his work to moderate but I will keep this short because I am so tired of this club and what it has to offer.

    A. Fire Miller and his henchman Paulus. (I am not even sure how Jeff got the job before Colin was hired which makes no sense to me.) Miller has basically alienated the whole local community in Edmonton. His style is unoriginal and most of all produces “NOTHING.”

    B. Fire used car salesman GM Proudfoot. He doesn’t know a lick about soccer and I am not exactly sure what he does to promote the game in Edmonton other than relive his CFL stories. As well, he continues to put out false attendance numbers that don’t make sense.

    C. Tom Fath needs to really invest his time and energy into the club. If this is simply a trophy wife for him in the metaphorical sense, than the club will continue to be bush league. Otherwise, do everything in your power to become knowledgable about the professional world of sports.

    D. Only bright sign, keep Hanson and don’t ever let him go!!!!

    FC Edmonton you are a failure and don’t deserve to play in such a great city.

    Time to invest my energy into the World Cup.

    • Steven Sandor

      June 8, 2014 at 4:21 am

      To clarify: Jeff Paulus was on FC Edmonton’s staff for a full year under Harry Sinkgraven.

  4. Mike

    June 6, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    I believe you touched all the bases left back. A crime to be where we are after 5 seasons. Spending millions of dollars really doesn’t matter if management doesn’t have the intuition of putting a team together. I look at Minnisota who turned it around pdq. This is a league that you should be able to go from worst to first in a season IF management has their act together. Your move Fath. Build a team and a field for them to play on. Time to get the job done properly.

  5. left back

    June 5, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Well… glad CM is aware of his situation. He does have to take full responsibility as he has created the team in his own image and changed personnel so dramatically… and he has done it without apology to anyone… local players that were the foundation of the squad…. out the door… past players that had decent games for FCE…. according to CM…. not good enough. The players he has brought in are supposed to be ‘quality’ players but… with no results to hang his hat on… he can’t say that it has been a change for the better.

    His brand of football is boring…. there is no flair from any of his players (outside wee Boakai) or as a team collectively… the results at home have been brutal…. and his constant criticism of refs has made everyone shake their head.

    To be fair… yes… the refs have been bad.. we were tragically ripped off against the Impact… the surface which we play on at home is laughable… we have been competitive in most games… the weather in Alberta has been poor, so training and preparation is difficult… I do understand these issues….

    But a good team deals with it and gets on with it. Our passing game is non existent… we can’t score goals…. we don’t have local players that we desperately want to watch… there is no buzz in Edmonton about our team…. we lose… we don’t score goals and our brand is not entertaining… even if we lost 4 – 3 maybe our fans would be some what satisfied. Yep CM… you are on the chopping block….. and hey… last thing…..

    “I am as positive a manager as I’ve seen”…. comments like that will make you a laughingstock… you have had a nightmare season but still don’t lack any confidence???

    Good luck… but maybe luck isn’t the problem.

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