Home Canadian Soccer CIS and Amateur Miller pleased as FCE’s offence clicks in preseason friendlies

Miller pleased as FCE’s offence clicks in preseason friendlies


Let’s face it. As FC Edmonton prepares for the NASL campaign, absolutely no one is asking questions about the club’s goalkeeping or defensive capabilities. FCE was the top defensive team in the league last season, and everyone who follows NASL expects the Eddies to have one of the best goals-against marks in the league in 2014, too.

What every FCE supporter cares about is the goals for, a department where the Eddies ranked dead-last in the league in 2013.

So, through two preseason friendlies in Vancouver, the reviews have been, well, hopeful. The Eddies opened with a 3-0 win over Trinity Western, with forwards Frank Jonke, Horace James and Daryl Fordyce getting the goals. Even better is the fact that Jonke and James represent the new blood coach Colin Miller had brought into the attack.

On Saturday night, with the NCAA’s Simon Fraser Clan providing the opposition, the Eddies got three more goals, a header off a corner from centre back Kareem Moses, a goal from Jonke that banked off a defender and an easy finish from trialist Tomi Ameobi.

Yes, it’s CIS/NCAA opposition, but six goals in two matches has Miller feeling mighty optimistic.

“I think the number of chances we’ve been able to create has been excellent,” Miller said after the SFU match, a 3-1 win for the Eddies. “We really could have had a couple more tonight. But I’ve been really pleased with the style of football we are playing. In fact, there were times I thought we were guilty of overplaying. Some of the chances they created were more a product of us giving the ball away in poor areas.”

There were lots of positives on the offensive side. Mike Banner, another new Eddie, rang a shot off the post, and he also provided the cross for Jonke’s finish. The cynic may note that Jonke’s sidefoot attempt banked off a Clan defender, but Miller was happy that Jonke wasn’t a lone owl in the penalty area. There were others Eddies lined up to take the chance. Last year, the Eddies couldn’t get numbers into the area and so many crosses went to, well, nowhere.

Moses, the Trinidad and Tobago national teamer, showed us glimpses that he can be a force in the opposition box, as well. He opened the scoring off a Neil Hlavaty corner.

“I think Kareem and Albert (Watson) will be an excellent pairing.,” said Miller. “And, of course, with Mallan (Roberts), too, that means we have some great depth at the centre-back position, The one thing that struck me when I watched Kareem in Trinidad was how aggressive he was in attacking balls in the opposition box. We saw it again tonight. He’s going to be a real threat on set pieces this season.”

Ameobi’s goal came after Massimo Mirabelli made a great run down the left side, made a cut, and rattled a bad-angle effort off the bar. Ameobi was unmarked at the far post to clean up the garbage.

The trialist had chances to add to his goal total, but was twice denied by SFU keeper Brandon Watson.

SFU did have some decent looks; Juan Sanchez tried to catch FCE keeper Lance Parker off his line and banged an attempt off the bar from 40 yards out. And the goal came after the Eddies’ switched keepers: John Smits was beaten from a narrow angle by the Clan’s Mateo Espinosa.

But SFU coach Alan Koch wouldn’t change his ways, even with a pro team on his doorstep. SFU pushed up the field very aggressively; Miller admitted he was surprised just how physical the game was. But aggression will create some gaps, and the Eddies were able to knock the ball around in some of the spaces that were given to them.

With games against the national champion UBC Thunderbirds and the Vancouver Whitecaps still to come, the tests will get tougher for the Eddies. We’ll see if the goals continue to flow.

Load More Related Articles
Load More By Steven Sandor
Load More In CIS and Amateur

One Comment

  1. Seathanaich

    March 28, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Last year a CIS team beat a largely-first string Whitecaps team. It’s not just a given that NASL teams can beat them, and 3-0 scorelines – let alone victories – by Edmonton FC against Canadian university teams are not a foregone conclusion.

Check Also

Bear necessities: Three U of A alumni sign on with FC Edmonton

Three former Golden Bears were unveiled Thursday as FC Edmonton signings; Bruno Zebie, Aja…