Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton VanOekel ties NASL clean sheet record, but Eddies forced to settle for draw at Jacksonville

VanOekel ties NASL clean sheet record, but Eddies forced to settle for draw at Jacksonville


Glass half full: Keeper Matt VanOekel recorded his 14th clean sheet of the season, tying the modern NASL record. And a point on the road in hot, humid conditions — and on three days rest — isn’t a bad haul.

Glass half empty: After Wednesday’s 0-0 draw at Jacksonville, the Eddies are now winless in six, and haven’t score a goal in five games. FC Edmonton now falls seven points behind the New York Cosmos in the fall season standings, and a home playoff game looks more and more unlikely.

“The guys are gutted in the change room right now,” said FCE coach Colin Miller. “We came here for three points, we only got the one. But we can take a lot of positives from this game.”

And what would those positives be? Well, even though the clean sheet allowed MVO to put himself in the record book, he only had one save of note to make, a diving parry of a free kick from Mechack Jerome. For long periods of the game, MVO could have gone up to the stands and enjoyed a cold beverage on a sweltering Florida evening.

“I felt, over the course of the piece, we could have won it,” said Miller. He felt that the Eddies started the game strongly, faded a bit later in the first half, but played well in the second half.

FCE's Nik Ledgerwood in action against the Armada. PHOTO: NASL/TODD DREXLER
FCE’s Nik Ledgerwood in action against the Armada. PHOTO: NASL/TODD DREXLER

But, the Eddies really only tested Armada keeper Miguel Gallardo once, and that was a swerving blast off the foot of fullback Shawn Nicklaw from about 25 yards out. The Eddies won a lot of first balls in the Armada’s penalty area, but couldn’t get a second player involved on those plays.

And, as for MVO’s record-tying performance?

“I think it’s a wonderful achievement for the big fella,” said Miller. “It’s also a big achievement for all of his teammates who have helped him out. We wanted three, but this could end up being a big point for us on the road. That’s how Indy did it in the spring season, got what they could on the road and won their games at home. Now, we have to follow this up with a good performance at home this Sunday. If we get those good performances at home, we will be fine, though I don’t want to leave it to the last game of the season, like Indy did.”

While the playing surface was not pockmarked and choppy like it was when these teams met in the spring season, it did play slow on the evening. Miller noted several times when long balls knocked over the back four held up and didn’t go into touch. But, it also made the passing game a little tougher on both teams.

“It’s just so hot and humid here,” said Miller. “It’s unbearable, really.”

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One Comment

  1. john anderson

    October 2, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Is Nathan Ingam back from his loan with TFC? is edmontonian Michael Cox the leading Canadian goal scorer in the USL?


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