Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton Sinkgraven not worried by FCE draws; goalie Parker dealing with setback

Sinkgraven not worried by FCE draws; goalie Parker dealing with setback

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FC Edmonton coach Harry Sinkgraven isn’t concerned that his NASL side has only two draws to show for its first two preseason matches.

Far from it.

“No, I am not disappointed at all,” said Sinkgraven after FC Edmonton needed a last-ditch 93rd-minute save from David Monsalve to preserve a 0-0 draw with the University of New Mexico. “Of course, you want to win games. But the goal right now is to make sure all the players get their time on the field. You have to give everyone a fair chance.”

FCE enjoyed long spells of possession through Sunday’s game against the UNM in Casa Grande, Ariz., but could not create any real chances to threaten the opposition goal. On Saturday, FC Edmonton’s goal in a 1-1 draw with PDL side FC Tucson, came off the foot of former D.C. United right back Barry Rice, as his long pass towards teammate Paul Craig looked to have grazed a defender before going into the net.

But the fact that FCE has just one goal — a fluky one, at that — in two games isn’t concerning to Sinkgraven, yet

“We are still getting to know each other. It’s about learning how to defend together, how to attack together.”

And, the team is getting used to playing on a regulation-sized pitch again. The club trained throughout the winter at Edmonton’s Victoria Soccer Centre; but the indoor facility featured a hard artificial- turf field that was much smaller than what a proper football pitch is supposed to be.

For Sunday’s match, Sinkgraven started what looked to be close to be a full-strength line-up. Canadian trialist Fabrice Lassonde, formerly of German side FC Ingolstadt, started on the back line. And Matt Lam, who played in the left midfield slot Saturday, was up top with the forwards in the 4-3-3 Sunday.

By all accounts, the man of the match for Sunday, though, was new French signee Serisay Barthelemy, who helped FCE dominate possession, though the Eddies couldn’t turn it into a goal.

Shaun Saiko, Kyle Porter and keeper Michal Misiewicz will leave Tuesday for the Canadian U-23 pre-Olympic camp. With Misiewicz gone, the goalkeeping work will fall to Monsalve and former University of Toronto keeper John Smits.

Lance Parker, Sinkgraven confirmed, is still training separately from the other keepers, as he’s recovering from yet another injury. Parker suffered a stress fracture to his foot as he trained away from the team in Miami. The American keeper had his season derailed when he suffered a compound fracture to his right arm in June. But, in working to get himself back into game shape ahead of FCE’s training camp, Parker went too hard and ended up damaging his foot. So, he isn’t ready for game action yet.

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