FC Edmonton will be looking to build on their impressive 2016 North American Soccer League (NASL) season in the upcoming campaign. The Eddies have announced 15 players who will be apart of the upcoming season.
Over the past few weeks, the Eddies have announced the return of several players from last season and one new signing. It is expected that FC Edmonton will continue to announce the return of former players and potential new signings. The likes of Albert Watson, Pape Diakite and Cristian Raudales are the remaining players who have not been announced that they will be returning for another season. Watson and Diakite are two players Eddies fans will be praying for to stay at the club. The pair were dominant in the back-line together and it could be argued that they had the best centre-back partnership in the 2016 NASL season.
After finishing third in the combined standings and making the NASL post-season, the Eddies have done a good job of keeping their core players from their impressive 2016 season. However, the club have lost four players that featured heavily in 2016. Matt VanOekel, Adam Eckersley, Daryl Fordyce and Shamit Shome have departed the Eddies. VanOekel will be with MLS side Real Salt Lake, Shome will be with Montreal Impact, Fordyce is off to the USL to play for FC Cincinnati and for Eckersley, who knows where he will be off too next, but I am sure their will be plenty of offers for the former Manchester United left-back.
With the club able to sign more international players after the departures of Fordyce and Gustavo, it is expected that the new signings will be international players.Earlier this afternoon, the Eddies announced the singing of Netan Sansara, who is expected to play as a left-back. With Shome and Fordyce gone, the Eddies lose two players who were common figures in midfield. Colin Miller will be hoping to secure Cristian Raudales and another central midfielder to provide more depth in midfield.
A lack of goals was concerning for Eddies fans in 2016 and now with the clubs top goal-scorer (Fordyce) gone, Edmonton fans will be wondering where the goals will be coming from now. With VanOekel gone and the future of Diakite and Watson up in the air, the Eddies may not have that strong defence they once had, which means they will need goals to keep them alive this season. Tomi Ameobi may have run out of chances for a starting position, which means Jake Keegan might get his shot as an out-and-out number 9. Despite not featuring much as a striker, Keegan was the Eddies’ second highest goal scorer with five, two behind Fordyce who had 7 goals on the season. With consistent action and a run of games, Keegan could be the solution. A third striker is required, especially considering Keegan featured mainly as a winger for most the season, so it can be expected that Miller will do his best to sign a natural striker.
Current FC Edmonton roster: FC Edmonton Returnees: Tyson Farago, Nathan Ingham, Shawn Nicklaw, Marko Aleksic, Allan Zebie, Karsten Smith, Netan Sansara (IR), Nik Ledgerwood, Nico Di Biase (IR), Sainey Nyassi, Ben Fisk, Pedro Galvao, Dustin Corea, Tomi Ameobi (IR), Jake Keegan,
(IR) Represents International players. All NASL teams are allowed to sign 7 international players. A international player is a player who is not from Canada or the United States of America.