Home Featured Sidra, new Dutch coach, trialists join FC Edmonton over busy weekend

Sidra, new Dutch coach, trialists join FC Edmonton over busy weekend

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Adrian Leroy
FC Edmonton may have left the city for a week-long camp in Florida, but the front office keeps rolling.

The club added fullback and local product Eddy Sidra, who had an unsuccessful trial at Toronto FC, on Saturday. The team also brought in a new assistant coach, Edwin Petersen, from the Dutch U-15 program.

Sidra spent time with Energie Cottbus, but has been out of contract for the better part of the last year. He went to Turkey to audition for Toronto FC, but failed to stick. Sidra has represented Canada’s senior team three times and, as a former University of Alberta Golden Bear, adds another CIS player to the fold. He also brings great speed to the outside of the defence, a guy who can burn up the sidelines and join the attack.

Sidra gives FCE another big local product to not only perform on the pitch, but to aid with the marketing of the club to a fan base that recalls the failures of past Edmonton pro franchises. He and midfielder Shaun Saiko give FCE a 1-2 punch of Edmonton-raised players who should have an impact in the club’s first season in NASL.

Coach Harry Sinkgraven now has 24 players signed, 18 of them Canadian, 15 from Alberta. He will now have Petersen to help him preach the 4-3-3 system. Petersen will stay with FC Edmonton until April 15, when he flies back to the Netherlands to coach the U-15s for the last time. He will be back with FCE April 22.

And, Adrian Leroy and Kyle Porter joined the fold Sunday as trialists. Leroy, a tough-as-nails defender spent last season with the Ottawa Fury of the PDL. He could be brought in to bolster the line, with Dutch veteran Paul Matthijs out of action for the next month.

Sinkgraven has previously said he wanted to get the roster to 26 players before the first game of the season. FC Edmonton opens the NASL campaign this Saturday against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. The team is training in Florida for a week ahead of the game. The club had spent the better part of a month in Arizona but, the humidity in Florida takes some getting used to, and the club will acclimatize ahead of the match.

Porter’s appearance in Sunrise at FC Edmonton’s camp is a bit of a surprise. The attacking midfielder, who played with the national U-20 program in 2009, was in Vancouver Whitecaps camp, trying to make the MLS roster. Reports out of Vancouver in February suggested he left camp of his own accord, to try out for the Montreal Impact. Now, Porter is looking to make the other Canadian NASL club.

There are some “MLS issues” (Vancouver still retains Porter’s MLS rights) that would need to be ironed out before Porter could be signed. The Impact faced the same issues.

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