Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton Whitecaps reserves score four against FC Edmonton

Whitecaps reserves score four against FC Edmonton

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FC Edmonton continued its preparations for the 2013 NASL spring championship on Tuesday at the University of British Columbia’s Thunderbird Stadium, falling 4-2 to a Vancouver Whitecaps XI.

For head coach Colin Miller, it was his first opportunity to see his team play an organized 90-minute outdoor match after mainly training indoors due to Edmonton’s frigid weather this time of year.

It was also a chance to return to Vancouver, where the Scottish born former Canadian international was involved with the ‘Caps in various capacities from 2009 to 2011 before getting the axe when Martin Rennie was appointed as manager.

Michael Cox and former Whitecap Wes Knight scored for the visitors in defeat, while Paulo Jr., Tom Heinemann, Kekuta Manneh and Corey Hertzog scored for the ‘Caps.

Largely outpossessed in a first half which concluded 1-0 in favour of the home side, Miller wasn’t pleased and said he had strong words for his players at the break.

“I thought it was a possession clinic for the Whitecaps in the first half,” Miller told reporters following the match. “We created a few chances for a five-minute spell. It was our first outdoor 90 minutes in all honesty, so we weren’t expecting miracles, but with well-chosen words at half time, you could see a response from the guys.”

That response came through a Cox goal in the 53rd minute, as the big striker pounced on some miscommunication among the Vancouver defenders, just two minutes after the Whitecaps had taken a 2-0 lead through a Heinemann tap-in.

Edmonton’s immediate response through Cox was pleasing for Miller, but he was less thrilled with the work of his defenders.

“I’m very pleased with aspects of the second half – that’s what we’ll be building on,” Miller said. “Learning from the horrendous defending in at least three of the four goals. Schoolboy defending at times.

“But, overall, pleased. Touch wood we’ve had no injuries. We have five first team players (including captain and central defender Albert Watson) missing which would affect most clubs, certainly one with a squad this size.”

Miller expanded on what was said at half-time and said that while there’s still plenty of time to improve, it’s important to lay down what is expected early on his tenure.

“We showed some real character there,” Miller said. “Lesser groups would have laid down and accepted a pasting from the Whitecaps. They’ve got good players, they’re a fantastic club, big club. But I praised the guys for their reaction to some bad words said to them at half-time. And that was just a baby bad words session, so they’re well aware now that we want to set standards.

“We don’t want to peak here today, we want to be ready by April 6 [for opening day].”

Knight too made a happy homecoming, scoring a first-time volley in the area. The South Carolina native was a fan favourite during his spell with the ‘Caps from 2009 to 2011 and was delighted to find the back of the net – a rare feat considering he’s never actually scored a professional goal.

“It’s kind of fitting,” Knight said. “I wanted to show well. It’s been two years since I called this place home. Like any player that’s been released, I wanted to let them know I’m a good player and still worthy of playing at this level. I just went out and tried to play simple, and the rest fell into place.

“It was a great ball by Lance [Laing] and I just tried to be opportunistic.”

Knight also wasn’t shy about sharing his reasons for his move to FC Edmonton from the San Antonio Scorpions, explaining more than just football reasons were at play – he’s currently dating Sunny Lenarduzzi, daughter of Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi.

“Partly career, and partly interest with the love life,” Knight said of his reasons for the move to Edmonton. “It was tough while I was in San Antonio. Although we had a great season, when you find a partner that you enjoy spending time with, it’s tough spending excess time without them.

“My relationship and my career could align in Edmonton, and that’s the reason I made that decision.”

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One Comment

  1. footy

    March 27, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Nice info on Knight. Do you happen to know where I could find the line-up from this match?

    Reply

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