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Sorry to double post... does anyone know if Mel's involvement with FC Edmonton will have any effect on the CMISL?

Good question. I hope it has a positive effect if any, as the teams won't be in direct competition with each other necessarily, but perhaps could positively affect each other's crowd. It will be interesting to see what transpires in the next 6 months.

Oh by the way, good to hear from you again Kevin. I'm going to need to talk to you about the Celtic Invitational again for this summer, we've almost put all the pieces together to start advertising it again full-on.

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I hope you're right. I imagine it's quite the commitment to be involved in the start of a franchise like FC Edmonton - especially considering they'll want to avoid the failures from the past. Add in his involvement with the CMISL... that's one full plate!

And yea bud, when you're ready to talk just email or call me.

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Should we start the bets on Edmonton folding at 3 years, 2 years, or half way through the first season? ;)

hear yeah! ;) We all wish them the best. But to be clear, it would be great for everyone if they could realistically build a team with base of local players. but we all know how much of challenge it has been to find professional calibre players in canada. Especailly with the three other pro teams and that US and central american player talent pool is more "pro-ready" and deeper.

What bothers be about that statement from the Edmonton group is the degree of naïveté that resonates from it. And to me, that was what killed the aviators. If you think that you can restrict your talent pool to locally based player who have no pro background or pro development and compete against rivals who do are in more favourable environments ( player talent wise), then you have no clue about soccer and soccer in North america.

I recall typing exactly the same thing at the time that the Aviators were announced.

Edited by Free kick
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I agree that it is naive to think that Edmonton will survive with players just from the prairies, but I think if they pick up the scraps from the other 3 professional teams in Canada, they will have a very good base to build on. Start with Serioux, Chin and Trafford and go from there.

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What bothers be about that statement from the Edmonton group is the degree of naïveté that resonates from it. And to me, that was what killed the aviators. If you think that you can restrict your talent pool to locally based player who have no pro background or pro development and compete against rivals who do are in more favourable environments (player talent wise), then you have no clue about soccer and soccer in North america.

I recall typing exactly the same thing at the time that the Aviators were announced.

To be fair, the one making most of those statements was the owner, Mr. Fath. The local CBC guy also called him on the statement he made about "increased youth soccer registrations" being one of the reasons they'll be successful. My opinion after standing there and listening to them is that a)They're really trying to be seen as being a "positive force for growth of soccer in (western) Canada". They mentioned the academy system and the local player angle a few times, but B) that they're serious, they've talked to the people who know what they're doing and are taking the slow and steady approach. I made sure to ask them about their plans to engage the fans mainly to plant the seed that that will be more important.

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Should we start the bets on Edmonton folding at 3 years, 2 years, or half way through the first season? ;)

Damn you guys are a cynical bunch ;)

I know we are all long suffering Canadian soccer supporters but if their choice of coach is any indication things are looking up in Edmonton! Follow the Caps model of building an academy and give them first team time when they earn it. Until then rely on foreign players who are 1) good and 2) inexpensive. Don't be so negative.

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I don't think it's unreasonable negativity. There's a history of failure when it comes to pro soccer in Edmonton. We all want this to succeed, but we're all being realistic too - given the past, it'll take a lot of hardwork and a new business plan to make this a success.

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It's all jokes. I'm pretty sure there isn't a single soul on this board that doesn't want to see success in Edmonton in spades. If Edmonton can be sustainable, and successful, other prairie cities will take notice that pro footy can exist near wheat fields. There are a lot of small things happening in the non-big three centers right now to suggest that everywhere is progressing towards a more sustainable development system.

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Not sure if this is the same CBC Radio broadcast, but I got it off CBC Edmonton's website - http://www.cbc.ca/edmonton/media/audio/mp3/2010-02-10-new-soccer-team.mp3

There's also a quick video clip on the local CBC news - http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/Local_News/Edmonton/ID=1409437235 - look for it at the 26:44 mark

Edited by strobe_z
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Edmonton is off to a pretty good start. I'd say they have landed a coaching staff with more experience than all the other Cdn MLS or USL teams. I also very much like the arrangement (not many details as yet) with a South America club and their academy plans (from the article from the Inside Minnesota Soccer site - thanks to Richard for the link):

"FC Edmonton also plans on having a youth academy that will start this spring. “In April we will have a combine and bring in a lot of player and will be very selective in who we bring in,” said Kowalchuk. “We will start with a U-10, 12, 14, and 16 teams. We will be bringing in some other coaches, and we are looking at some coaches from South America as well. I mean no one has this sort of a coaching staff in Canada for an academy. Not only do we want to groom the players to be pro players, whether they be girls or guys, but we are grooming them for ourselves, for the future.”

“We actually have connections with South America and have a deal done where we will bring our kids down there for a period of time where they would train with their better players and coaches,” continued Kowalchuk. “The kids will play at a facility that has a theater and a hospital. We’ve already signed the deal on that. The decision right now is if we start that this year or next year.” Kowalchuk did not comment on what country and club he was speaking of."

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I guess a Title change is in order from Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps FC & NASL ---> Montreal Impact, FC Edmonton, Vancouver Whitecaps FC & NASL......or sub catergories..

Too long. "Div2-NASL/USL" works for me. Especially if we get Ottawa, Hamilton, Calgary etc then the title would be silly type long :0

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BRILLIANT! If this comes off (the youth program) that puts outstanding pressure on the other professional clubs to follow suit......and then look at how CanSoc can take off! Great coaching staff. You are going to see a lot of the best in this country trying to move to Edmonton for work if they can get on that staff eh!

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Clearly the Faths are either looking like they're willing to pump serious coin into this venture or they're very, very, good talkers. So far so good.

Hope they can put together something of an exhibition season together. Poach the best locals and bring in a few pro-clubs for a bit of kick-about, or maybe the CSA could help out by lending them the U20s for a friendly or two. You know, just to keep their name out there over the World Cup summer, as it were. Unlikely they'll do anything but lose money on such a scheme but it would add some legitimacy to their efforts if Portland and Montreal were to pop into Edmonton for a show sometime this summer. Not vital but a bit of marketing is never a bad thing.

Decisions, decisions. Vs Cup road trips next summer or Gold Cup road trip?

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After reading the interview that Ed referenced above, I still have a bunch of questions about this group.

http://www.insidemnsoccer.com/2010/02/11/fc-edmonton-soccer-is-the-newest-nasl-team-and-do-they-have-plans/

I don't know about this Kowalchuk character but you have to wonder about a guy that bounces back and forth between failed soccer franchises and baseball. He also mentions that the team would have been ready to play in 2010. If these guys think they would have been able to assemble a quality team and sell 5,000 tickets in a couple of months they are crazy. He also says he knows that the NASL does not want football lines, but they are going to play at a field with football lines anyways. How temporary is that going to be if they are only starting to push for a new stadium in the next 3-6 months? By the time the stadium is built, how many fans are you going to have lost playing at Foote Field for 2 years? I bet people in Edmonton are already skeptical about the return of Pro soccer and this is just the perfect way to make a positive first impression.

I wish them all the luck in the world. Their intentions are good and their coaching staff seems to indicate that they are serious, however I can't help but get the feeling that these guys don't really know what they are getting into. The Everton-River Plate game seems to be a perfect example of that. At the same time, I feel a little upset at the other NASL owners. They used to complain about the USL and how they would just let in anybody. Now they are letting in a group that is going to start off by breaking the most simplest of rules which is no football lines!

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To me it's a chicken vs. egg thing... There's no way you're going to get someone (government or private) to plunk down the cash to build a SSS before there's a team in place. But if there's no SSS you can't get a team? That's the no-win situation that's faced a lot of teams in the past. People with more knowledge than me can (and most likely will) chime in here, but the only reason Toronto got a SSS first (which was of paramount importance to them landing an MLS club) was because of the U-20 World Cup. Without that there's no hope. I'm not sure where exactly Montreal played before Stade Saputo was built, but I'm pretty sure it was in a variety of sub-par venues (football lines or not). The only reason Stade Saputo was built was because of the proven track record of the Impact. Vancouver has had the luxery of having Swangard for a long time... but for most of the rest of the teams, it's pretty hard to put the cart before the horse is even out of the barn.

Sure, I'd like to see something of a concrete plan in place of how they're going to build a SSS, and based on the comments that the league has mandated it I hope there is a behind the scenes vision on how it's going to get done... but can you imagine the reaction if the press conference had said "Hi... we know Edmonton has had several failed teams, but we're gonna get a new team from scratch, support it with an academy AND build a brand spanking new stadium out of fairy dust". Unless Bill Gates was the team owner, I doubt anyone would've been able to swallow it.

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