Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton Miller pleased with effort, laments poor finishing as FCE loses preseason friendly to Minnesota

Miller pleased with effort, laments poor finishing as FCE loses preseason friendly to Minnesota

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FC Edmonton’s scoring struggles were evident in he club’s first friendly of the July off-season.

The Eddies dropped a 2-0 decision at Minnesota United FC, as both squads begin their preparations for the NASL fall season, which begins in early August. Max Griffin scored late in the first half, while Simone Bracalello managed to loft an attempt into the Eddies’ goal after a mixup between fullback Edson Edward and keeper John Smits.

Keeper Lance Parker, whose shoulder problem kept him out of the lineup in the tail end of the spring season, played the first half for the Eddies. Of note on the Minnesota side — defender Logan Emory made an appearance as a trialist, just weeks after being cut loose by Toronto FC.

Griffin scored first, but the Eddies could have been up by two goals at that point. Striker Michael Cox got two clear breaks on goal, but couldn’t hit the net on either of them.

“That’s the issue, we get into the 18-yard box and we can’t even hit the target,” said FCE coach Colin Miller. “It’s so frustrating, we showed so much quality, so much passing, but we can’t finish the chances.”

“I thought we played very well in the first half; we had two clear breakaways that resulted in misses, we didn’t hit the net. But Edem Mortotsi did very well in the middle of the park. We were very good through the first 10 to 15 minutes of the second half, but then the game just petered out.”

FCE was the lowest scoring club in NASL at the moment. Miller said an attacking midfielder will join the club on August 1, and he’s on a permanent deal. But, a trialist that he hoped would be an impact player won’t be coming into camp this summer. That player is finishing his degree, and he found out he couldn’t complete those credits off-campus. So he’ll stay in school and begin his pro career when the degree is finished.

Miller has still been working the phones with various MLS front offices.

“I’m very restricted at the moment because we have used all of the international slots. We had an agent approach us with a payer who is a youth international in Europe, and we simply can’t take him right now. But I am talking to MLS clubs, but it’s also up to the players. Some might not want to come to NASL — they see it as a step down, even though they’re not getting playing time with their MLS teams. But I know that Martin (Vancouver coach Martin Rennie) was very pleased with the way Carlyle (defender Carlyle Mitchell) played when he got to Vancouver, and that was because of the work he had put in with us.”

Mitchell, who was supposed to be on a year-long loan to Edmonton, was recalled by the Whitecaps in June because of that club’s injury crisis. But Miller confirmed that the centre back will return to Edmonton after he’s finished representing Trinidad and Tobago at the Gold Cup. Mitchell will get a couple of days off after the tournament, then report to the Eddies.

“He’s desperate to come back here,” Miller said.

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