Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton Shome’s decision to say no to the NCAA spurred a quick return to the FC Edmonton fold

Shome’s decision to say no to the NCAA spurred a quick return to the FC Edmonton fold

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In the United States, it’s becoming common to see a player sign a professional contract after finishing only his freshman year of an NCAA program.

But, for a Canadian player to sign a pro deal after playing just one year at a CIS school? That’s certainly not a script we see played out very often. But, on Friday, FC Edmonton announced the signing of speedy midfielder Shamit Shome. A product of FC Edmonton’s academy program, Shome was Canada West’s Rookie of the Year for 2015 after a standout first season with the University of Alberta Golden Bears. Shome has also got looks from Canada’s U-20 program.

“I knew that I wanted to get back with FC Edmonton, and into the professional environment, a quickly as possible,” said Shome.

And, to do that, he made some very calculated decisions. He turned down offers from a couple of NCAA programs; instead he chose to play at the University of Alberta, where he could be closely monitored by the FC Edmonton brass. As well, he could remain close to his family, which was important to him.

“For me, I had to think, would it be better to go the States and play for four years and then hope that maybe I get taken in the draft and go to MLS? Or, would it better to try and get to the NASL as quickly as possible and start my professional career?”

And Shome said he understands that many NCAA grads who turn pro face huge challenges; they’re in their early 20s when they get out of school. And that means their window to make a pro team is very small; they’re already at an age where they shouldn’t be seen as prospects — they are simply too old to be taken on as project players by pro clubs. That’s why the MLS SuperDraft is, truly, such a crapshoot of twentysomething everymen — where even first-rounders often fail to ever get minutes. A lot of draftees will go no further than USL; and that’s not a future Shome wanted for himself.

But, even though he’s playing professionally, he hasn’t left school behind. That’s the nice thing about being enrolled in a university that’s a short ride away from where you work. He’s been able to balance his class schedule with his soccer schedule.

“Of course, FC Edmonton is my employer, so if there are any conflicts, they have to be the prority,” he says.

Shome is hopeful he can do more than simply be a good player in training. He says he would like to crack a game-day roster, then get onto the field to play some NASL minutes. But the club feels strongly about his potential.

“We knew from an early age with Shamit when he first started the program that he would be a player that we kept our eye on,” FC Edmonton academy technical director Jeff Paulus said in an FC Edmonton release. “Shamit had a real opportunity to become a professional player and he’s done that. I’m thrilled.”

 

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6 Comments

  1. left back

    February 13, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Look at the local products that went to play in the States.. Daniel Falcone is a good example… Uni of Portland grad… ended staying in Portland after graduation with a degree and a great job… the education in the States is better… it is simple…. the lifestyle is better too… everyone thinks that Edmonton and U of A is great… you have no idea to you go elsewhere and look at what it is like and what they offer… it is fantastic… anyway…. sounds like he has options… and when you have options in life…. it is always a good thing…. good luck to him

    Reply

  2. john anderson

    February 13, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    the kid is probably a genius. taking eng at uofa n playing cis soccer. made the right choice. playing ncaa for 4 years isn’t enough games or practices.

    Reply

  3. footy

    February 13, 2016 at 4:45 am

    Sounds like a very rational decision to me. Of course it’s a gamble for any enspiring player to go pro, but I really don’t see any negatives about this move. Look at Michael Cox, he got his education after leaving FC Edmonton and STILL got a shot to go pro.

    Also not entering the MLS draft is very wise. You could wind up being drafted and not signed. Which would mean any other interested team would have to negotiate before being able to sign you. Absolutely absurd.

    Good on FCE for signing these homegrown products. Big compliment to Paulus and the rest of the staff!

    Reply

  4. left back

    February 12, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Who is advising these kids? He has made a horrendous error. If given the chance to have a scholarship in the States playing soccer and getting an education where they cater to you as a student athlete… why would you stick around here? The States, far and away, offers more in terms of coaching, facilities and environment then anything around here. You really going to spend the next 2 months training at commonwealth and listening to Paulus and CM? Give me a break. Imagine attending Uni in California or any school in the Southern US… great weather… great coaches and after 4 years you have a degree from a huge University, no student loans and a shot at MLS if you thrive in the program…. you would be twice the player and have massive life experience to draw upon….

    If people haven’t noticed… NASL is 2nd tier…. it is the last stop on the LRT of pro soccer… that is why these players are here…. because they are done…. Albert Watson is a prime example… good in this league… brutal by European standards…. Ameobi… same boat… Fordyce… likewise… Jones… run out of England… lets be real… it is a kids future… and it should not include FC Edmonton as a pathway…

    So glad Boakai is out…. it was the only way forward….

    I love Edmonton and the local soccer scene but… I am not seeing NASL as a viable option…. what is the average salary for these players? Has it been published? Surprised if it is $2000 a month… you really going to play at Clarke on turf and say you are a pro?

    A professional athlete makes a living that takes care of himself and family for a life time.. just like a real job is supposed too…. talk to former NHL players who actually made good money……….. FC Edmonton is not an out… it is a death sentence….

    Reply

    • cwell

      February 12, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      Sounds like he was home sick. Okay if he can get a degree at the U of A while playing or training with FC Edmonton. I think he probably realises that he doesn’t stand a chance of going any further in soccer.

      Reply

  5. cwell

    February 12, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    I hope it works out for this player. I think that he’s wise to keep working away at his education, because the chances of making a career in professional soccer are slim. But he will always have the satisfaction of knowing that he tried, and who knows, he might just catch on.

    Reply

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