Eddies Roster Update after a busy week of signings

5 days. 5 glorious FC Edmonton player announcements.

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

This brings the Eddies official roster to 13 signed players. The Canadian Premier League (CPL) roster maximum is 23. Let’s take a look at Martikinen Sugar Fingers Siembiwskiey’s roster graphic to help us visualize the Eddies roster. Please note, while the graphic denotes signed and unsigned players, the attempt at a depth chart is unofficial.

The Shamit Shome acquisition was arguably the most exciting of the week, if not this off-season, because he embodies the social media hashtag FC Edmonton uses of #OneofOurOwn. Raised in Edmonton, a graduate of the FC Edmonton Academy, a former player on the NASL edition of the Eddies, even a former U of A player, Shome already has a dedicated base of fans in the Capital City. Welcome home Shome!

Soria, one of the players to wear the captain’s band, and Temguia are re-signings of players we watched in the “Island Games” last season. “Pre-Covid”, we also would have watched Raul Tito last season. Due to 2020 travel restrictions, the Eddies hands were ostensibly forced to loan Tito to a Club in Peru to allow the 23-year-old to keep playing as he was not allowed across the border. Someone buy the young man a winter jacket as we all hope to see him on the pitch at Clarke Stadium in April.

Mabussi comes to Edmonton after playing in the French footballing pyrmaid since 2014-15. The 23-year-old from the Democratic Republic of the Congo joins the Eddies as Coach Koch’s 5th new acquisition in re-shaping the Club. Mabussi joins the previously discussed Shome along with Fraser Aird, Kyle Porter, and Paris Gee.

FC Edmonton’s last victory was October 16th, 2019 defeating Pacific FC 3-1. The Eddies faithful at Clarke Stadium watched Prince Amanda, Easton Ongaro and Temguia score helping the team snap a 10 game winless streak. Coincidentally, their previous win was also a 3-1 triumph over Pacific FC. The Eddies were held out of the win column during the 2020 “Island Games”.

Before making any wild and crazy predictions for the Koch led 2021 incarnation of FC Edmonton, let’s take things one step at a time. Step one, the CPL plays games. Step two, let’s get that first win under our belts.

Alan Koch, FC Edmonton’s New Coach and Director of Football Operations

The new FC Edmonton Coach and Director of Football Operations Alan Koch could be a candidate for the most interesting man in the world.

A native of South Africa, Koch’s parents and brother emigrated to Canada first with his arrival coming in July 1996 at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia on a soccer scholarship. The man has played soccer in his native South Africa, Germany and Ireland.

Diagnosed with a heart condition in 2001, Koch closed the door on his playing career and began his coaching career that same year as an assistant with Simon Fraser University.  From 2003-06 while on the coaching staff of Midwestern State University, Koch completed his Masters Degree in Human Resources. Seriously, how many coaches have a Masters Degree!?

In 2008, Koch went back to British Columbia where he would stay for almost a decade between Simon Fraser University and the Whitecaps FC 2 where he infamously gave Canadian Superstar Alphonso Davies his first professional minutes.

Let’s bring in Coach Koch after the not-so-usual introduction:

A compliment to compared to the man in the Dos Equis commercials. Very fortunate and privileged the game of football allowed me to see large parts of the world. Leaving South Africa at the age 19 I have lots of memories with the favourite memory being the large chunks of my youth spent wearing no shirt and no shoes with the ability to enjoy great weather almost every day of the year.

Lived in suitcases most of this journey, my wife and I have the unwritten rule of two suitcases each as the world is our oyster. BC has been our home for years and their winters are generally mild while winters in Cincinnati would confine us to indoor training at the beginning of the season. I’m prepared for Edmonton winters.

Staying within the confines of my ability covering the Eddies, admittedly I attend games at Clarke Stadium more for the antics of the River Valley Vanguard (RVV) Supporters Group more than the tactics on the pitch, I asked Coach Koch three questions about FC Edmonton:

  • The first players re-signed to FC Edmonton were three FC Edmonton Graduates in Chance Carter, Antony Caceres and Marcus Velado-Tsegaye. Edmontonian and top goal scorer Easton Ongaro is officially back. Recently the return of Academy product Shamit Shome was announced and you welcomed back former 2011 Eddie Kyle Porter. In the early stages of the 2021 roster development there is a distinct Edmonton feeling to this Edmonton Club. I know your job is bring in the best talent but please speak of giving Edmonton fans a team they can connect with through their history with the Club.

FC Edmonton is one of the few clubs in Canada that has a history and we are excited to embrace players from Edmonton and/or played for FC Edmonton before. I’m excited that we have several players from Edmonton on the team and I would like to give more players from Edmonton their professional debuts. The caveat being the players have to be good enough to help us achieve our goals on the pitch.

  • For the portion of fans who attend FC Edmonton games (like myself) who are there more for an evening out than to watch specific players, what will a Koch led team look like?

New Eddies fans I think they will see a team that is technically proficient with the ability to move the ball quickly and create goal scoring opportunities. Recruitment is a big part of the product on the field so I’m using my network to get the best possible players to work with to achieve this.

  • A buzz word in sports is “culture”. This question comes with two prongs. a)As of this writing, the Eddies will be a very young team. What “Culture” are you looking to build within your dressing room and b) Your thoughts on the Supporters Group aspect of soccer’s culture?

a)The internal culture we are going to create is an environment where it is a team first mentality that has the positive byproduct of allowing the individuals to reach their goals. The collective culture – team, club supporters- need to make Clarke Stadium our fortress.

b) Within the game I only focus on what is happening between the lines. Outside the game I see the Supporters Group as our partners in creating our Clarke Stadium fortress.

Thank you Coach Koch for taking the time to talk to me. Covid-19 is the unaddressed elephant in the room in terms of talking about an upcoming FC Edmonton season. Let’s all choose to stay optimistic that we will spend our fair share of spring, summer and autumn nights at Clarke Stadium together.

Related Article:

Eric Newendorp, New FC Edmonton President and General Manager Interview

 

 

What if the NLL and RMLL seasons run parallel to each other?

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) typically plays December through May. With their 2020 season truncated,the league recently released a statement about the 2021 season beginning the weekend of April 9th to 11th. The Alberta Series Lacrosse regular season schedule typically plays from April through July. Obviously, if all things go accordingly to plan, this will lead to an unprecedented amount of time that the two leagues run parallel to each other.

This led to a threesome of questions I sent off to Stu Sterparn (Sr B Beaumont Outlaws President), Jordan Wheaton (Edmonton Sr B Warriors General Manager) and Jordan Cornfield (St. Albert Sr B Miners GM) for their input.

With the NLL “scheduled” to start April 9th, how does this affect the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League (RMLL)?

  • Outlaws President: “I don’t think it has much effect on the league as a whole. Tons of great players in AB that don’t play in the NLL.”
  • Warriors GM: “The NLL scheduled for April is still up in the air, but it could have an effect on professional players being in our league. Personally I am unsure what guidelines are set for professionals in regards to Canadian box.”
  • Miners GM: “Typically in the past, we have had players missing for the beginnings of seasons due to their NLL commitments (examples John Lintz, Josh Sullivan, Ryan Dilks, Keegan Bal). The depth of our team has always been able to overcome these absences. The depth of our league will shine through.

Then specifically, how does it affect your team?

  • Outlaws President: “Our team will not be affected as we are a fully home grown roster. Our local players are finding success without buying any pros to help bolster our line-up.”
  • Warriors GM: ‘If we look at our 2019 roster it does not effect us directly, but it may effect some players we are looking at coming back or bringing into our team with potentially more openings at the Sr A level in other provinces but it opens up more opportunities also for players who may not of made clubs to jump in and grow Alberta lacrosse.”
  • Miners GM:No different than before but now we are that much more excited about 2020 draft picks and upcoming 2021 draft.”

3) Then the even bigger question, how does it affect the Sr B National Championship Presidents Cup since unlike never before, the NLL could still be playing?

  • Outlaws President:The Presidents Cup is a national championship filled with the country’s best lacrosse players and it still will be. Teams will find ways to get the best players available on the floor. If anything this new NLL schedule takes away from the teams (all across Canada) with the big budgets as they won’t be able to stack up with imported talent. Should actually see better lacrosse games with more parity instead of the NY Yankees always in the World Series.”
  • Warriors GM: “I think this is a question for only one team in Alberta Series Lacrosse but I would say it potentially brings in a even field for every team at the tournament. Most teams will consist on amateur players, with teams possibly adding former professionals.”
  • Miners GM:There is a significant possibility we could be missing a player or two if our respective players make it to the NLL finals. With The talent pool we have in Alberta, we will draw from that as much as we can. Senior A leagues could potentially face the loss of many players to the NLL forcing teams to allow players to drop down to Senior B. Our goal is to prepare as if we are going for a National Championship, we will do everything we can to compete once again for the title.”

Of course in these “Covid times”, schedules are more “hypothetical” than ever before. As of this writing, the NLL has not made any further statement about their April 9 start date. The RMLL Twitter account posted a link to a downloadable document that gives us this update (page four with more on page five not shown below):

Let’s all stay optimistic that come this spring we can all safely gather at the arena of our favourite RMLL team and watch some lacrosse.