Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton Miller, FC Edmonton part ways on “great terms”

Miller, FC Edmonton part ways on “great terms”

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Colin Miller compared his contract situation with FC Edmonton to knowing someone with a terminal condition. You know that there is no escaping the inevitable, but it still hurts when it comes to pass.

“I’ve known for a while that it’s coming, but, still when you see it in the press release, it really sinks in,” Miller said.

On Monday, FC Edmonton, which has already announced it had discontinued its professional operations, announced that Miller’s contract as the team’s head coach was no longer, and that goalkeeping coach Darren Woloshen’s time at the professional club was also done. (UPDATE: Woloshen has been hired on as a contract coach with FCE’s academy).

At this time last year, the club was announcing an extension to Miller’s contract, a show of confidence in what was an uncertain time for the NASL. Well, times continue to be uncertain for the NASL, with the league facing a court case against the United States Soccer Federation with its very survival at stake. No matter what happens, FC Edmonton has withdrawn from that circuit.

As for FC Edmonton, coach Jeff Paulus remains with the team as the club will continue its academy program. Coach Sean Fleming is on an outside contract and also remains with the academy. Co-owner Tom Fath has said that the team would only rise again in the new Canadian Premier League if there were indications that the team, which launched in NASL in 2011, could be sustainable.

Miller said some of the blame for FC Edmonton’s problems should be doled onto the City’s administration. The team paid for new stands and a scoreboard at City-owned Clarke Field, but didn’t always get first choice for game dates. The team also held training camps at City-owned Commonwealth Fieldhouse. 

“The fact is, the team did not get a lot of support from within the City of Edmonton,” Miller said. “Our fan base was growing, support was growing, but we did not get the support we needed from the City of Edmonton.”

Miller said Edmonton’s training times at Clarke Field were strictly monitored; even if there was no one scheduled to use the field on a weekday afternoon.

“There were times that we’d have guys on the field having a chat at the end of practice, and the City would send an invoice for that,” said Miller.

He also said that Canadian soccer is hurt by the media’s refusal to put it into the mainstream.

“There are some who did a wonderful job covering the club,” he said. “But I can’t help but feel that there is still a fear in the North American media about our sport.”

About FCE, though, Miller had nothing but good things to say.

“I have to say that we (he and Fath) have left on great terms,” said Miller. “We’re good friends. And we have an incredible amount of respect for each other.”

Miller has many fond memories of the times he spent in Edmonton — and he thanked his family in Abbotsford, B.C. for being so supportive of his career choice. He remembers what it felt like to beat Montreal in the first leg of a Canadian Championship semifinal (though most of us might remember him exchanging words with Impact owner Joey Saputo after the controversial late second-leg penalty decision allowed Montreal to advance). He said he treasures a win over the New York Cosmos, where the winner came from all-time FCE leading scorer Daryl Fordyce, just days after captain Albert Watson’s father had passed away.

And he remembers being hired and the huge job that was laid out for him.

“To be a Canadian coach at a Canadian club, at a time when Canadian clubs weren’t hiring Canadian coaches, that was pretty special.”

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