Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton Miller: FCE isn’t out of the NASL fall-season hunt yet

Miller: FCE isn’t out of the NASL fall-season hunt yet

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FC Edmonton trails the NASL fall-season leading New York Cosmos by 10 points, with four games to go. But, after Thursday’s training session, FCE coach Colin Miller was defiant.

He said each team in the league has 12 points on the table. Nothing is a given in the NASL. And that FCE is still in the race.

(Only the fall-season champs get the honour of going to Atlanta for the Soccer Bowl. Second place? Set of steak knives.)

“If Carolina can go to New York and get a draw, we win our game, then we go down to New York and get a result… there are four games left. There are still points to play for.”

But Miller’s hopeful scenario could be shredded to bits by the time the Eddies take to the field Sunday in San Antonio to face the last-place Scorpions. The RailHawks face the Cosmos on Saturday night at Hofstra University. If New York prevails, then Edmonton goes into Sunday’s match playing for pride. And, Carolina has been notoriously poor on the road this year.

The game in San Antonio will precede a match between Mexican sides Club Tijuana and Santos Laguna.

But the Eddies will go to San Antonio with some confidence. They are coming off their second win of the fall season, a 2-1 win that saw FCE score more than once in a game for the first time since the spring campaign. But Thursday’s Eddies’ training session was filled with laughter. Players were loose. They were enjoying themselves.

“It’s been great, it’s been noisy, we’re having a laugh,” said Miller. “But we’ve still got to work hard.”

Daryl Fordyce, who scored both of the team’s goals in the Carolina win, said the team’s attitude picked up last week, as the players prepared for the RailHawks, and the trend has continued this week.

“We’re enjoying ourselves in training, you see the balls around the training pitch.”

While Fordyce said he’s “not too sure” why the practices have become more enjoyable, he did say that the regimen was changed up last week.

“Things are a little different. We had been doing of the same things, so maybe things were getting a little stale. But all the boys stuck together, we deserved that win.”

So the team can better prepare to play on San Antonio’s natural surface, Miller has been trying to arrange a training session on a grass pitch. But trying to find a natural-turf surface that’s OK for a pro team, in October, is a tough ask in Edmonton. And Miller isn’t sure that he can find a spot.

Miller will also be without midfielder Wes Knight. The American who led San Antonio last year in minutes played won’t be on the trip to Texas. He left the Carolina game at halftime and will be getting an MRI on his knee. That’s tough for Knight, who already missed most of the season with a broken foot. Canadians Gagan Dosanjh (knee) and Michael Cox (season-ending knee injury) are also out. Edson Edward and Chris Nurse, who suffered knocks in the Carolina game, are training again with the Eddies.

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