Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton The roster is full: Miller says signings are done for the spring, hopes Straith can stay on long-term

The roster is full: Miller says signings are done for the spring, hopes Straith can stay on long-term


Now that MLS teams have finalized their rosters and made their last-second cutdowns, comes the inevitable talk of “that player who didn’t make (put MLS team name here) could help (put NASL team name here.”

Except, it doesn’t work that way. Players who get cut from MLS rosters late in the preseason find that there’s little room at the inn at NASL teams who are also well into their preparations for their coming campaigns.

FC Edmonton announced the signings of Canadian international Adam Straith and Northern Irish playmaker Dean Shiels earlier this week, and coach Colin Miller reiterated Friday that those would be the last signings the Eddies would make for the NASL spring season. The roster is full.

“We will revisit things, as we always do, in the fall season,” said Miller after FCE’s Friday training session at Commonwealth Fieldhouse. “But, as of right now, we’re good. I am delighted with the squad.”

Miller is happy to have the luxury of knowing what he has at his disposal before the team leaves on its March 9-22 preseason trip to Manchester, England, where the Eddies will play exhibition games against Wigan Athletic’s reserves, and the U-23 sides of Newcastle United, Burnley and Stoke City.

“That’s the way I wanted to do it,” said Miller. “I like to get the squad in early, settled, everybody knows each other, they’re comfortable with each other — and then, either through trade, or release, in that fall preseason bring in one or two fresh faces that keep the squad ticking along.”

The only question mark is central defender Karsten Smith, who is out for at least another month with a calf injury. Miller said Smith is making “good progress.”

Smith was expected to provide depth behind starting centre backs Albert Watson and Pape Diakite but, now, Straith is also an option. The Canadian is signed only for the spring season, but Miller is hopeful the deal can be extended.

“It came out of the blue, obviously Karsten’s situation pushed it ahead, I knew Adam was available,” said Miller. “I spoke with (FCE captain) Nik Ledgerwood if he had contact info for him, and then I contacted (national-team manager) Morgan Quarry. The rest is history. Adam wanted to come and play, we went back and forth with negotiations as we always do with players. I explained the situation to him: There’s no guarantees that anybody will play, but I’ve worked with Adam before and he’s a good, solid person and professional.

“I’m hoping he’ll do enough in the spring season, and that he enjoys it enough, that we can come to an agreement — and it will be a long-term signing. I enjoy working with him, he’s my type of player.”


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One Comment

  1. john anderson

    March 3, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    are any academy players heading to manchester?

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