Home Canadian Soccer Porter and Leroy try on their new FC Edmonton jerseys

Porter and Leroy try on their new FC Edmonton jerseys

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Kyle Porter, left, and Adrian Leroy show off the new home kits.
FC Edmonton’s two newest signings were on hand at the club’s meet-the-team event at a south side restaurant on Monday.

Midfielder Kyle Porter and defender Adrian Leroy were on hand to shake hands with fans as the club hyped its Wednesday date against Toronto FC at Commonwealth Stadium, the opening leg of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship semifinals.

The two will train with the club, getting into the game shape coach Harry Sinkgraven demands of his players. His 4-3-3 system is physically exhausting, asking players to cover off each other’s positions as they join in attack and defence.

The routes the two players took to FC Edmonton were very different. Porter was with the Vancouver Whitecaps, asked to leave camp earlier this spring and went to the Montreal Impact. But, Vancouver still held his MLS rights. With Montreal going to MLS in 2012, the club was informed it would lose Porter to the Whitecaps as soon as it made the move.

“There was a big situation with Vancouver,” said Porter. “That was the reason I left Montreal. It wasn’t my choice to leave. But things didn’t work out. There was pressure from Vancouver and pressure from the league (MLS). So, the opportunity came up in Edmonton. It was an opportunity to play pro soccer in Canada. And I took it.”

Leroy first caught the eyes of FC Edmonton’s brain trust when the club played the Ottawa Fury in a 2010 friendly. In order to prepare for the 2011 NASL season, FCE played a series of exhibition games in 2010 to get the club up to game speed. Leroy impressed when he played against FCE for the PDL side.

“We played Edmonton last year,” said Leroy. “I came to Edmonton to get the chance to play, and the club was able to put a name to face.”

And while Porter and Leroy will likely be on the sidelines for a little while longer — as will striker Alex Semenets, who was hurt on the road trip and faces another month on the sidelines — they are buoyed by the fact that FCE was able to collect six points out a possible nine on the club’s inaugural NASL road trip.

“It’s been excellent, to go into the league and go right to the top of the table,” said Porter.

And, both have some warnings for Toronto FC fans who think their club will have an easy time with FCE.

“It’s pretty easy to underestimate us,” said Leroy. “A lot of us are up for it (the game). For us, this is one of the biggest games of the year.”

“I think that’s the advantage, they don’t know what to expect from us,” said Porter. “We are going to surprise them. We have a lot of speed.”

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