The simple question in the title has three elements to it. The overlooked element might be the fact not everyone associates “FC” with its traditional meaning of “football club”…and by “football club”, I mean soccer team. So who are the Impact FC UWS?
The UWS acronym stands for United Women’s Soccer League. The following is from their “about” page:
“United Women’s Soccer (UWS) is a national pro-am league composed of professionally operated clubs within the United States and Canada. UWS provides high level competition for college players, aspiring and former professionals, and international stars.”
The Impact FC explanation starts with the St. Albert Soccer Association (SASA) and ends up being a team in the UWS. I reached out to Two-time UWS Coach of the Year Troye Flannery, who will serve as the team’s inaugural Head Coach & General Manager, and Chris Spaidal, executive director of SASA, to help me grapple this question without simply doing a “Wikipedia report”:
“St. Albert Impact is over 60 years old, at one point the St. Albert Hercules. The competitive stream to the SASA, adult soccer via the Edmonton District Soccer Association (EDSA), youth level via the Edmonton Minor Soccer Association (EMSA), one of seven Canada youth club license holders.
We decided we wanted to provide a greater opportunity for women in the game of soccer. To provide a pathway from Alberta to the highest level. This has been a vision for years. We started seriously exploring a franchise in the UWS in September, hired Troye in October, and the league announcement was made official January 6th.
We have a white board with almost 40 player names we’ve identified as alumni, marquee names, Usport athletes, and NCAA players we would like to contact to develop our training group of 20-25 which will become our starting eleven and roster of eighteen.”
Let’s meet the players who have already signed on the dotted line:
Riel Recreation Park will be the Club’s venue with seating for approximately 1000 fans. If the asterisk that is Covid allows, the season will take place between May and July. The Club will play in a division that will include provincial rival Calgary.
I’m a simple sports fan. Give me an Edmonton versus Calgary rivalry and I’m in. Reminder that the “Battle of Alberta” is so hotly contested that the Edmonton Oilers trademarked that saying. In soccer speak, FC Edmonton and their Highway 2 counterpart have dubbed their rivalry “Al Classico“.
In the meantime and in between time, let’s all stay safe as we brace for Impact FC UWS.