Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton MLS Combine or a solid NASL contract offer? Why keeper Nathan Ingham chose FC Edmonton

MLS Combine or a solid NASL contract offer? Why keeper Nathan Ingham chose FC Edmonton

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Nathan Ingham had a choice to make.

Last November, after he’d wrapped up his NCAA season as the No. 1 shot stopped at Florida Gulf Coast University, the Canadian keeper got a call from FC Edmonton goalkeeping coach Darren Woloshen. Ingham learned that the NASL club had a lot of interest in signing the him — but the team had to know ASAP if the feeling was mutual. The Eddies wanted to get their roster sorted sooner rather than later.

But, Ingham also had an invite to the MLS combine. He’d been named tournament MVP of the 2015 PDL Championship weekend, where he helped Kitchener-Waterloo United to the title. In his final year with FGCU, Ingham started 12 games and posted a save percentage of .800.

He only had a few days to make his decision: Take a chance on the MLS Combine and hope to get drafted — or take the solid offer from the NASL team?

“It ended up being a pretty easy decision to make,” said Ingham, whose signing was announced by the Eddies on Wednesday, along with the capture of Brazilian midfielder Gustavo Salgueiro.

A Canadian keeper wanted to play with a Canadian team — and Ingham said those factors really played in Edmonton’s favour.

Ingham will arrive in Edmonton next week and prepare for training camp by spending some time working with the reserves. But he isn’t short on confidence.

“My goal is to be number one; if I don’t make number one, then I want to push the number one. If I don’t make number two, then I want to push the number two,” said Ingham.

“I was able to win a North American championship with my PDL team and, as hard as it is to do, ultimately I’d like to win another North American championship in another league with FC Edmonton.”

“The fact that he left the MLS Combine behind shows that we’re doing a good job with our keepers,” said FCE coach Colin Miller.

He said that Ingham’s impressive PDL résumé is similar to that of FCE keeper Tyson Farago, who came from WSA Winnipeg. “The first thing that jumps out at you is that his stats compare to the numbers Tyson had posted when he was playing in the PDL.”

Ingham said that the K-W United program has become a soccer development hotbed. K-W United alumni Ben Polk and Julian Buescher, an American and a German who played in Ontario, were taken in the first round of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft.

Ingham, said credit has to go to K-W owners Barry MacLean and Gill Heidary for sticking with a vision to make the club a prime spot for North American players to develop their skills.

“They did an unbelievable job of building a team and making it feel like a family. We were always pushed to be the best that we can be.”

And, after the signing was announced, Ingham said he’s received plenty of calls from K-W United staff and players who want to congratulate him on the move.

Meanwhile, Gustavo is a 30-year-old veteran attacking midfielder who can also play on the left side, a spot which needs to be filled after the departure of 2015 leading scorer Lance Laing to Minnesota United FC. He’s a veteran of Brazilian league football, but Gustavo has also appeared in Poland with Widzew Lodz and in the Ukraine with Volyn Lutsk.

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