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Sinkgraven not surprised by FC Edmonton’s 3-0 loss to FC Dallas

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Harry Sinkgraven
FC Edmonton got a taste of MLS competition in its preseason opener Monday in Arizona, dropping a 3-0 decision to the reserve squad of MLS Cup finalists FC Dallas.

Homegrown prospect Ruben Luna put FCD ahead just three minutes into the games as the Edmonton side, in only in its second day in Arizona, struggled to adjust to the pace of a team that is nearing the end of its preseason conditioning.

“They have been playing two months outside, we have been outside for two days,” said FCE coach Harry Sinkgraven after the match. “So, you know it was going to be a tough game for us.”

Andrew Weideman, who has been a squad played for FCD, playing in U.S. Open Cup games but not seeing any MLS action in 2010, took advantage of a defensive miscue and beat FCE keeper Rein Baart, who was in between the sticks for the first 45 minutes.

Edmonton native Chris Lemire had a good chance to put the NASL team on the board in the first half, but he was denied by FC Dallas keeper Chris Seitz, who was the No. 1 for the Philadelphia Union last year and will back up Kevin Hartman in north Texas this season.

FC Dallas split it squad Monday, with most of the regulars playing in a friendly against the New York Red Bulls, and the reserves getting the game against FC Edmonton. FCE missed out on seeing reigning league MVP David Ferreira, striker Brek Shea and Hartman.

FC Edmonton has 19 signed players and five more trialists in camp, so Sinkgraven made wholesale changes at halftime so he could get as many players as possible into the game. He used a 4-3-3 formation, which is the system he wants to bring to the team.

“We want to look at as many players as we can, but we also want to work on the system, as well,” said Sinkgraven. “Of course, it’s going to take time.”

Jaswinder Gill took over in the FCE goal in the second half, and surrendered the third FC Dallas marker of the game, from Colombian Milton Rodriguez. But FCE grew into the game in the second half, and Sinkgraven was encouraged by the work of six-foot-three trialist Dan Antoniuk. The veteran American striker has been a journeyman in the USL — and scored three times in 19 games for the Montreal Impact in 2006.

“We have been playing all winter on an indoor field that is 60 metres by 30 metres,” said Sinkgraven. “Now we are on a field that’s 110 metres by 60 metres.”

John Jonke
FCE brought its roster up to 19 players before the game with the signing of centre back John Jonke. The six-foot-two native of Scarborough, Ont, played in Finland until last year, when he signed with Div. 2 side Crystal Palace Baltimore, where he played one game. He also spent time in the Canadian Soccer League with Portugal FC. He brings some size to a backline that needs a big body, and the club hope he partners well with Dutch veteran Paul Matthijs in the centre of the FCE defence.

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