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Ricketts, Lam both mulling their European options

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Canadian national-team forward Tosaint Ricketts is fielding offers from various European clubs, but he also respects what Norwegian side, Valerenga, has done for his career.

Meanwhile, fellow Edmontonian Matt Lam has recovered from shoulder surgery and has also fielded some offers, but expects to try his luck on a return to Europe.

Both Lam and Ricketts played Tuesday in an exhibition match which saw current and former Edmonton pro players face the FC Edmonton reserve squad at the Commonwealth Stadium fieldhouse.

Ricketts was on contract with Oslo’s Valerenga until the end of the 2012 season, and scored in the final league game of the season. Valerenga signed Ricketts in the autumn, a sign of good faith as Ricketts and his agent were still battling the Romanian Football Federation for the release of his International Transfer Certificate. Ricketts left Romanian in May, claiming that his club, FC Politehnica Timisoara was behind on four months worth of wages. After what looked like to be a successful trial at 2. Bundesliga side Dynamo Dresden, the RFF warned that it still held Ricketts’ ITC and would not allow him to play. The German side chose against undertaking a legal battle, even though Ricketts had scored at a goal-per-game pace in the preseason.

Valerenga stepped in and was willing to offer Ricketts a short contract even with the muddy ITC situation — and then waited weeks for the Canadian striker to get a temporary ITC, which allowed him to play the final three weeks of the season.

Tosaint Ricketts in an FCE kit.
Tosaint Ricketts in an FCE kit.

Ricketts said Tuesday that he is looking at going back to Norway, but also has other offers from Europe.

“I would have to look at what Valerenga offers because of everything they have done for me,” he said.

But, with the offers on the table, it’s safe to say that a North America is a place where Ricketts will return for the holidays, not to play. While he wore an FC Edmonton shirt on Tuesday, his sights are still set on European football. And he doesn’t anticipate any more issues from the RFF.

“I don’t see any problems. I have my temporary ITC and that is good for a year. By then I am sure any issues will be worked out.”

Lam teamed with Ricketts on Tuesday. And, like Ricketts, he is focused on returning to Europe. In 2011, Lam was loaned out to Japanese side JEF United and returned in 2012. After opting against shoulder surgery, Lam endured a difficult season with the Eddies and was cut at the end of the season. But an exceptionally strong pair of matches against Vancouver in the Amway Canadian Championship kept him on the radar of a lot of scouts. And, as a former Ajax youth player, his credentials are still strong.

Last week, Lam was cleared to resume training. And while he said he already has some offers, he will be looking at a move back to Europe.

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