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  • Exceeding expectations


    By: Nathan Terlesky

    For the past week, I had been wondering who Coach Harry Sinkgraven would start in goal for the FC Edmonton vs NSC Minnesota game. Upon arriving to Foote Field I was surprised to see that Sinkgraven had elected to bench the recent NASL Defensive Player of the week in favour of starting Rein Baart. Most of the Edmonton Supporters Group quickly braced themselves for a series of bad plays and the destruction of the Edmonton defense at home yet again. Instead, the game progressed with solid keeping from Baart. There were slip ups in the defence, but several players stood out in a solid FC Edmonton win. Since this win also marked the closure of the first quarter of the season for the club, I thought it would be good to evaluate the progress of some of the FC Edmonton players.


    Paul Hamilton: The Alberta born product has shown incredible improvement over the first few games. Hamilton showed some nerves initially, and would routinely have shaky back-passes (occasionally resulting in undeserved corners for the opposition). Since the Toronto series, Hamilton has become one of the most solid defensive players FC Edmonton has. Against Minnesota on Monday there were numerous chances broken up by this young player. Hamilton has shown aggression going up to challenge for long balls, and has not made the number of mistakes in recent games as he first was making.

    Kyle Porter: A late addition to the squad, Porter has made his presence known as of late. Most recently he had two goals against Minnesota, while also scoring against Atlanta. Porter is showing an excellent understanding of the field and an ability to read plays; both goals came on second chances against Minnesota. He has found his legs, and is showing an ability to get past the defense and cut in towards goal.

    Paul Craig: Another Canadian just turning pro, Paul Craig has been impressive in the last few games. He has found a bit better range, and is able to get better crosses into the box, resulting in better chances for his team mates. For a smaller player, he is showing some stubbornness in carrying the ball through the pitch as well.

    The entire club seems to be exceeding expectations this year. Many had FC Edmonton in the bottom half of the league, if not at the bottom of the table. FC Edmonton now sits in second place in the league, only 6 points (with a game in hand) behind the seemingly unstoppable Etienne Barbara (11 goals in 8 games) and his Carolina Railhawks.

    Edmonton has shown that they can stand with most of the teams in the league, and appears to be in better shape than was seen against Toronto FC and Montreal Impact. The solid defense of Edmonton, along with the year that Edmonton spent playing together last year, is beginning to paying off with positive results for Edmonton. While the press seems reluctant to showcase the positives of the team, fans are starting to develop, with a good number (an announced 2,260) showing up for a cold wet game later on a holiday Monday.

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