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shermanator

2015-16 NASL Offseason

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With FC Edmonton having played their last game in 2015 on Sunday their focus is now on 2016. Miller alluded to 5 players being released after the season after Sunday's game.

First news, it looks like Kareem Moses has been released based on his latest Instagram post. From the supporters point of view it's a shame to see him leave as he seemed to really connect with the crowd, but looking objectively at his role in Edmonton he was the third best CB and probably equivalent to Zebie at LB. When someone who is a borderline starter takes up an international spot they will be in tough to be re-signed. https://instagram.com/godsonmoses/

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Eddies announce the release of John Smits, Frank Jonke, Thiago de Freitas, Kareem Moses and Tomas Granitto. Looks like there are a number of players entering contract negotiations (Laing, Boakai, Edward, Watson, Fordyce, Nyassi), so they may be around or they may be gone in 2016.

The big surprise for me is that Sadi Jalali is back for 2016. With the way Miller used him in the last 2 years I figured he would have been gone. At the start of the year I had written off Jalali but he really impressed me with his play in 2015.

http://www.fcedmonton.com/news/2015/10/28/fc-edmonton-announces-return-of-several-players-for-2016

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Just posted this on Reddit as well, but I think that the release of Jonke opens that door for Jalali. He really impressed me on that road trip to start the fall, and I hope there's some potential for him to step up. He's shown GREAT maturity in my opinion, and really deserves to be showcased. Would be a positive combo with Ameobi too.

No surprise with de Fretias or Granitto. Moses is too bad, but was getting crowded out. Smits is a shame, but if you listen to what he doesn't say on the Ep 32 of the Loyal Company podcast, he'll be fine. I'm actually looking forward to watching his career, as I think he's got a great head on his shoulders, and is solidly committed to professional soccer.

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Of the 7 players currently negotiating with FCE, who do you guys think is most likely to sign? `Watson and Fordyce have been big parts of the team for a while so it would be a big loss if they left. Edward has a shot with the national team if he can land himself a backup role as a rightback with one of the 3 Canadian MLS teams, TFC signed Mark Bloom from NASL and that worked well until his injury,it would be nice to see him land there or as a Steven Beitashour backup in Vancouver. At either of those teams he would get minutes and be an injury away from starting. There is no way Laing or Boakai is back in my opinion.

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I disagree that Edward needs to be on an MLS team just to get a shot. I think Roberts (who I'm SO glad is still FCEd) is a great indication that Floro is looking at NASL clubs as well.

 

I think the fact that Laing and Boakai are still in negotiations (and I do take Miller at his word that its going well with a lot of the negotiations) says a lot of positives about 1) the club and 2) the chances that they'll be back. I know after talking with Smits, this is a club that players love. Smits couldn't say enough positive things about the Faths, and I think its a club that players will want to come to. For Laing its a matter if Edmonton is willing to pay enough for him to make it worth his while and if he has other offers. Boakai I was nervous for, but he might be waiting out some options as well. Seeing him get some time (and do decently) in the last game says a lot as well, and I don't think Miller has it in for him... Just wants to see him mature more.

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Now Proudfoot is out as GM as his contract has expired. There was some good growth of the club during his term, but being last in attendance in NASL 4 seasons in a row now, and no shirt sponsor are two big black marks. At least to my eye, corporate sponsorships were way up in his tenure which is a good thing.

http://the11.ca/2015/10/28/fc-edmonton-searches-for-new-gm-as-proudfoots-three-year-term-comes-to-a-close/

I don't see either Boakai or Laing signing. I think Laing is just too good for the NASL now, nothing FC Edmonton can do about it. Of course, if Laing can't make it elsewhere, I'm sure he'd be more than happy to re-sign in Edmonton. Boakai on the other hand; I think he and Miller are not a good fit. Boakai is a very talented player who probably believes his own hype, whereas Miller is a hard ass who seems to want to knock him down a peg or two. Obviously the match is not working based on the on-field play and off-field rumours of attitude issues.

I think Watson, Fordyce and Edward all re-sign as they are key members of the club, and having a measure of stability in the roster would be good.

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I disagree that Edward needs to be on an MLS team just to get a shot. I think Roberts (who I'm SO glad is still FCEd) is a great indication that Floro is looking at NASL clubs as well.

Floro has only called up prospects or established national teamers from NASL. Boakai and Roberts are highly touted by a lot of people involved in Canadian soccer and have other options, so they were capped with the future in mind. Other than that, it has been JDG and Nana who have been called. Both of these players have previous experience under Floro. There have been a lot of NASL players who many on the board feel have been overlooked consistently by the national team. It has been made pretty clear that even sitting on the bench in MLS gives you more of a chance to play for Canada than being a consistent starter in the NASL. It isn't right, but it is reality at the moment.

Also we are really starting to build depth so it is only going to be harder to get a call up in the future. Fraser Aird was just capped and he would be Edward's direct competitor. Rumor has it Bolton Wanderers, Rotherham United and several League 1 clubs are going to be in on Aird this transfer window, so Edward REALLY has to do something to impress Floro if he wants a call up.

Edited by BradMack

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Actually the CSA wanted Roberts for the Ghana friendly had he been healthy. So not just a "cap him and be done with it" scenario. Edward on the other hand, just don't think he's in the mix.

The Canadian association asked if Mallan would be available for the most recent camp [Tuesday friendly with Ghana] and they were very understanding when I said we needed him because it’s an important time for the club. Of course, that was before Mallan got injured.

http://the11.ca/2015/10/14/after-laing-less-fce-loses-to-carolina-miller-has-harsh-words-for-the-jamaica-football-federation/

Edited by shermanator

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I thought in one of the11.ca articles (probably one about Roberts call up) Floro told Miller that he feels there's several Canadian players that could help the national team in the NASL. I think that is a direct mention of Edward and Boakai.

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Actually the CSA wanted Roberts for the Ghana friendly had he been healthy. So not just a "cap him and be done with it" scenario.

 I didn't mean a "cap him and be done with it" scenario, I knew he was supposed to play against ghana, but that was a pretty weak roster on the back end. He is a player with obvious upside but honestly if we're at full strength he isn't going to earn a call up, but because of our lack of depth he is in the mix if a few players are injured. But if we wanted him we needed to cap him before he played for Sierra Leone, and Colin Miller has a good relationship with the CSA, you can bet he was in their ear. He will play every now and then but I don't think he's a consistent call up yet. 

I will say that he is probably ahead of Nana now, as he should be.

Edited by BradMack

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I'd agree with that assessment, BradMack. Probably ahead of Manjrekar James as well, and maybe pushing Lefevre.

Colin Miller was saying the other day that Tyson Farago was national team worthy. He's looked damn good his first 3 NASL starts but that's a BIG stretch at this point in his career. Especially considering Miller has a man crush on Van Oekel.

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I'd agree with that assessment, BradMack. Probably ahead of Manjrekar James as well, and maybe pushing Lefevre.

Colin Miller was saying the other day that Tyson Farago was national team worthy. He's looked damn good his first 3 NASL starts but that's a BIG stretch at this point in his career. Especially considering Miller has a man crush on Van Oekel.

If Miller really thinks that he better be starting Farago next year, I've watched Van Oekel a few times and he's looked...Clumsy. 

I really like Manjrekar James and I would have to disagree with you about Roberts being ahead of him at this point. Lefevre could be breaking into the starting discussion pretty soon aswell, he was awesome in the Ghana match and has been lights out for Montreal this year as well. I see big things ahead for Roberts though and for a couple other central defenders we might classify as prospects. Roberts I see making it to MLS soon as he is a beast of an athlete and fits that league very well, James I believe has a good shot at moving to a mid tier European league in the next couple of seasons, he really impressed me at the pan ams, Doniel Henry is already in the Premier league and Luca Gasparotto is looking like the real deal and getting consistent minutes in the Scottish Championship, could see him at Rangers for a long time. 

I am getting way off topic here though, so to steer things back into the correct lane, do you guys think FCE might be able to make better use of the loan system? Ottawa has been taking advantage of it and forming a relationship with the two eastern conference MLS teams. I know there is probably a little bit of a rivalry between the 'caps and FCE but Edmonton could sure use a guy like Bustos or Levis to create a little bit now that they're probably losing Laing.

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Would Bustos, Kianz or Levis be star players in the Nasl? Would they start over the players fced has already.

Kianz would definitely start in the NASL, he is the real deal and if it wasn't for the crazy talent the whitecaps have in his positions he'd be starting in MLS, he already has a couple goals. Bustos is less involved in the first team with the 'Caps but he can be explosive and when he got healthy last year he was very good in USL pro, dominating at times. Levis is probably the most realistic loan option for FCE, he's not really close to the first team with the 'Caps but when he was healthy showed he could really play in USL, I think he'd do well in the NASL.

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FC Edmonton have had taken some players from Vancouver on loan in the past (Carlyle Mitchell, Corey Hertzog, Simon Thomas), but nothing recently. I guess we'll have to see what the roster looks like come January or February, but maybe Levis or McKendry would be good candidates for NASL from what I've seen.

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Looks like the Scorpions will be no more. The city of San Antonio and Bexar County are buying Toyota Field for $18 million. Looks like the San Antonio Spurs will field a club in USL next year. The Scorpions owner has said that there's only room for one soccer club in San Antonio, so that's pretty much the writing on the wall.

http://www.examiner.com/article/spurs-sports-and-entertainment-to-enter-usl-2016

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The NASL is in big trouble.  MLS has consistently taken all it's successful franchises away.  They're going to be losing Minnesota and Atlanta and with this move it looks like San Antonio as well.  Indy has been rumored to be working on a MLS deal all summer as well.

The MLS will eventually be a 30 team league and it's clear that part of the model to getting an MLS franchise is to grow a successful NASL or USL team, build a fanbase then get the investors and move.  To be honest the Ottawa and Edmonton teams are in danger of being part of a ghost league if the C-League doesn't take off.

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This is HARDLY a sky is falling situation. San Antonio wasn't the gem that it appeared to be. There's loads of reports from reliable people out there that it was a division 2 club run on a division 4 budget. Every corner was cut to make a profit for "Soccer for a Cure" (owners charity). Completely honorable of him, but not what pro sports is developed to be.

Having talked with people in Indy, and considering Peter Wilt's involvement, I seriously doubt that they're going MLS. They don't have a stadium, the crowds are starting to decline, and the owners are satisfied for now. With Wilt's involvement in the rumored new Chicago NASL side, I would count on Indy staying NASL.

There will be an expansion side announced this week, with some serious dollars coming in from Europe. This "NASL is dying" rhetoric is a very MLS favorable one. NASL isn't dead by a long shot.

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The NASL makes a lot of announcements about expansion that eventually don't materialize. The San Antonio situation now necessitates that they find another group in another city to fill the void to just to be able to stand still. Think the bigger problem for the NASL that might finally send it into a death spiral is David Beckham's Miami MLS franchise, because that would probably take out both the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and FC Miami.

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I hear ya, but to follow up from my previous post....

 

Rayo OKC announced today in the NASL. Will start play in SPRING 2016. VERY quick turn around for this group, and they are VERY bullish going head to head with an established USL side.

rayoOKC.com

 

Should also point out that this isn't the only expansion expected this offseason (which technically hasn't started yet either).

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Ottawa have re-signed Romuald Peiser through 2017. I was shocked that they didn't sign Matt van Oekel, since I thought the way to treat your NASL Golden Glove winner was to sign another keeper, push him down the depth chart and release him!

But in all serious, a no brainer by the Fury here.

http://www.ottawafuryfc.com/news/2015/11/17/golden-glove-winner-romuald-peiser-to-remain-with-fury-fc

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Edmonton re-signs Watson.

Also, its apparently expected that there may be news on "where [Heinemann] is going" tomorrow. Interesting that its stated like that, rather than if he's staying in Ottawa. If you read into things like that. News came via twitter from @MnNiceFC and also states he had several offers from other clubs.

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