The Canadian Premier League is just a few weeks away from kicking off. The Mastermind Site has now officially launched a #CANPL Team Guide for every single club, with FC Edmonton being the last. After analyzing Halifax, Forge, York, Valour, Cavalry, and Pacific FC; FC Edmonton is the last team to go under the magnifying glass. Here is The Mastermind’s official team guide for the newly revamped FC Edmonton.
FC Edmonton enter the inaugural CPL season as the only pre-existing club. Unlike the other clubs, they haven’t needed to build an entirely new roster from scratch and although this seems counter-intuitive, perhaps that is why they are being underestimated this season. As the other clubs spent the last couple of months splashing the cash and signing exciting prospects, FC Edmonton have kept a relatively cool head and brought back several of their former players.
Edmonton was one of the founding members of the North American Soccer League (NASL) and remained in the league from 2010-2017. However, in late 2017 the club ceased professional operations but kept their youth academies open in hopes of re-establishing a professional club in the future. When the Canadian Premier League started to enter the Canadian soccer scene, FC Edmonton were quick to jump at the opportunity. They were approved on June, 5, 2018 to be part of the first season and on July 3, the club named former academy technical director and assistant coach Jeff Paulus as their first head coach.
The club will play there home games at Clarke Stadium, which has a capacity of just over 5,000. In a few years, the club hopes to expand to around a 7,000-seat capacity. The official club colours are blue, navy and white.
ROSTEREmbed from Getty Images
Here is the official roster for FC Edmonton, accompanied by links to player twitter profiles to keep the conversation going all season long and continue to raise awareness on Canada’s first ever top flight league. Player additions and numbers will be added as they come in.
|—||Goalkeeper||Dylan Powley||@DylonPowley1 |
|—||Midfielder||Ramόn Soria||@RSoriaAlonso |
|—||Midfielder||Ajay Khabra||@akhabra23 |
|—||Midfielder||Son Yong-chan||@son_yongchan |
|—||Forward||Oumar Diouck||@Diouck99 |
|—||Forward||Randy Edwini-Bonsu||@EdwiniBonsu |
STAFFEmbed from Getty Images
|General Manager||Jay Ball||@JayBallYeg|
|Head Coach||Jeff Paulus||@jeff_paulus|
|Assistant Coach||Sean Fleming|
|Goalkeeper Coach||Lars Hirschfeld|
Joining head coach Jeff Paulus as part of the coaching staff is former Canadian national team goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld, who made 48 appearances for Canada between 2000 and 2015. Hirschfeld spent a large portion of his playing career in Norway with Valerenga, but also has experiences playing in Germany and England. His role as goalkeeper coach could prove to be crucial for Edmonton and their keepers this year.
MANAGER: JEFF PAULUS
Jeff Paulus spent six years as FC Edmonton’s assistant coach. He will know the environment and some of the players very well and that may be an advantage over some of the other coaches in these early stages. During his time as the assistant coach, he also coached the club’s academy and that played a massive role in some of the players he has brought back into the fold for this season. Paulus’ predecessors in Harry Sinkgraven and Collin Miller had win percentages of 25% and 32% respectively, so the Ontario native will be hoping to do much better in his time as Edmonton head coach for the first time. How he will do in his first ever job as head coach of a professional side is still up for debate.
PREDICTED STARTING LINEUP
FC Edmonton have one of the more clear-cut starting elevens in the league. The difference between the experienced players in the side and the ones with a little less experience is simply a greater gap. Paulus has several options to pick from up front and might opt for a front three that includes former Eintracht Braunschweig striker Randy Edwini-Bonsu. Although experienced and pacey, Edwini-Bonsu does not have the best goal record and so he will need Edmonton’s number 9 Ajeej Sarkaria and 30-year old Tomy Ameobi for support. 17-year old Marcus Velado-Tsegaye could also be one to watch and might be a more natural right winger instead of Ameobi. In midfield, Korean trialist Son Yong-chan will be looking to partner former North Carolina midfielder James Marcelin and the versatile Ramon Soria in midfield. In defense is where Paulus’ side look a little light and they’ll be relying on several former FC Edmonton players to step up to the plate. The back four could feature Allan Zebie, Mele Temguia and Kareem Moses, who were all Edmonton players of the past, alongside Canada U-23 player Amer Didic. Finally, U Sports varsity athlete Connor James appears to be the favourite to start in goal, ahead of 22-year old Dylan Powley.
PREDICTED FINISH: 7THEmbed from Getty Images
Like many, I may be underestimating this FC Edmonton side simply based on the roster that they have created heading into this season. On paper, it just doesn’t look as strong or as dynamic as some of the other clubs. But what it looks like on paper could mean very little. Jeff Paulus has been at his club longer than any other coach in the league, which could be an advantage heading into the season. He also has many familiar faces that he has worked with in the past and some fantastic top level experience in former Canadian international Randy Edwini-Bonsu. The back-four also features a few players who will have experience playing alongside each other, which could be an advantage over these newly formed clubs. Having a goalkeeper coach with the experience of Lars Hirschfeld could also be a difference maker. But ultimately on paper this FC Edmonton still looks slightly weaker than the others. As a result, The Mastermind has placed them last on the board for this inaugural season, with a predicted 7th place finish.
So there it is! The 2019 #CANPL Team Guide for FC Edmonton. What are your thoughts on this newly revamped FC Edmonton side? Will they finish last or are we severely underestimating them? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts. Also be sure to check out the other team guides that have been posted so far below.
HALIFAX WANDERERS TEAM GUIDE FORGE FC TEAM GUIDE YORK 9 TEAM GUIDE VALOUR FC TEAM GUIDE PACIFIC FC TEAM GUIDE CAVALRY FC TEAM GUIDE
Make sure to check back soon for all the other #CANPL Team Guides and keep the conversation going on Twitter @mastermindsite. See you soon!