Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton The last of the originals is gone: Rago won’t be back with the Eddies (UPDATED)

The last of the originals is gone: Rago won’t be back with the Eddies (UPDATED)


FC Edmonton’s no longer has a tie to the 2010 version of the club.

The club announced Tuesday that locally produced right back Antonio Rago won’t be back with the team in 2014. The team said that it offered Rago a contract — terms weren’t disclosed — and that the fullback turned it down and will explore other career options.

Rago made the following statement to The 11:

“The decision to leave my hometown club was not made without a heavy heart. Ultimately my decision was purely based on my enjoyment of the game and my development as a footballer.

“I would like to thank everyone who I have come in contact within these last four great years, as they have all played a role in the person I am today. I especially would like to thank (owner) Tom Fath and his family for their extreme generosity and bringing professional soccer back to this great city. Without Tom, I would not have had the privilege to play professionally in front of so many friends and family. I cannot express my gratitude enough.

“And, finally to the supporters. Whether the results were good or bad you’ve all stood by our side and chanted just as loud each and every game. We truly have the best supporters in the league. I hope for one day to hear you chant my name one more time. Keep standing united. Thank you.”

Rago was part of then-coach Dwight Lodeweges’ original roster in 2010, when the Eddies played a series of friendlies against the likes of Portsmouth and Colo-Colo. The team began a year ahead of its 2011 entry into NASL so it could blood its young players and get them ready for North American pro soccer.

Rago was the first-choice right back for most of 2011, after Harry Sinkgraven took over as coach. In 2012, he began the season on the bench, but then won his starting job back.

In 2013, under coach Colin Miller, Rago was used mainly as a substitute, as Canadian Edson Edward emerged as the first-choice right back for the Eddies. Rago got starts when Edward was unavailable to play due to injuries or suspensions.

With three new teams joining NASL in 2014 — Ottawa, Indianapolis and Virginia — there will be more job openings in the league.

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  1. FalseStriker

    November 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Am I the only one here that has put the pieces to the puzzle together? First our best player in Saiko has a falling out with the coach, who by the way is local as most know. Then Cox who is from Calgary is given a new contract but decides not play for FC Edmonton anymore. Then Nurse, this year’s MVP, publicly attacks the coaching staff and how bad they were. And now, the icing on the cake, Rago declines to sign a contract and he is someone with deep roots in this city. He’s a good player but he’s not someone who stands out like Saiko who will find a club without a problem. Rago will rather take a risk then sign a for sure contract. 3 out of those 4 were original Eddies. NOT to mention how Colin miller treated Hamilton like absolute s____ at the beginning of the season.

    Bold moves by Miller yet no results and s_____ football to show for it. It pains me to see this man get away with murder. If only the footy fans were as passionate as hockey fans who make themselves heard. Not to mention the lack of media attention this debacle is getting.

  2. Duder

    November 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I’ve always rated Rago… and he’s always been a player who seems to have been underappreciated by FCE mgmt. Best of luck to him. I’m not impressed with CM revolution.

  3. left back

    November 8, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    I read an article online that said that most NASL clubs run a budget of about 1 million dollars for salary allocation… including coaching staff and medical staff…

    I will assume the average player on EFC is offered somewhere in the $40 000 range….

    below poverty line….

    i guess that is the price you pay for being a professional soccer player in Edmonton.

    Note to young readers…

    finish your university degree before going pro… that way you will have a career to fall back on when FCE offers you a $36 000 contract….

  4. Soccerfan

    November 8, 2013 at 3:28 am

    Generally, salaries range from 50 000 to 80 000.

    • Dan

      November 9, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      that’s a high estimate, there are guys on MLS teams making 36k a year, a Star in NASL might make 75k but the guys riding the pine most likely make no more than 20-22k

  5. James

    November 7, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Rago was a fantastic player and I always felt confident when he was on the pitch. Talented, resourceful and creative. Not exactly the type of player that Colin Miller likes. Best of luck to Rago next season, wherever he ends up. No doubt he will be starting for a club higher in the standings than FCE.

  6. left back

    November 7, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Well… i guess this was in the mail for a little while now… another local product out the door.

    One thing i am confused about is –

    they say Cox and Rago are offered contracts but turned them down….

    I will assume the contracts that are offered to them are embarrassingly bad and they are forced to say no… CM saves a little bit of face by turning around and saying… “we are offering the local products contracts… they decide not to sign them and leave….. we have no control over that.”

    Well done FCE…. very classy move…. way to throw a guy under a bus…..

    if anyone has any idea how much the average FCE contract is… please share that information…

    the MLS contracts are published in the paper… NASL is not….

    • Steven Sandor

      November 7, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      One clarification: MLS teams DO NOT publish salary information. In fact, they are very secretive. It is the MLS PLAYERS’ UNION that publishes the contract information. NASL players don’t have that kind of organization.

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