Editorial (March 3, 2019) – Edmonton is a city full of grit and determination. People need to be here. With the ups and downs of the oil industry, one never knows when the good times are going to come to a halt, but never count Edmonton out. Edmonton perseveres and so can FC Edmonton.
FC Edmonton: Dare To Dream
Edmonton’s Soccer History
And so it is with soccer. Through many iterations, Edmonton has given many tries at having a professional soccer club. Whether it’s the Drillers, the Aviators, Edmonton FC, FC Edmonton 1.0, or FC Edmonton 2.0, you have to give the Edmonton soccer community credit for their determination to make it work.
Edmonton has had its successes with pro-soccer. At least with the latest attempt, FC Edmonton was going strong until the NASL folded. FC Edmonton did not, though. The organization stuck around. It focused on its Academy. Developing the youth of Edmonton for future professional soccer. Persevering and not giving up.
Canadian Premier League
Enter the Canadian Premier League. At first an idea, then a serious thought, and now a dream coming true. This time it feels different. A league Canada can call its own, and FC Edmonton will be a key part in its success. A league that feels like it could grow into the potential of an English Premier League, or a Bundesliga – but Canadian.
This time it is not a league where a couple lonely Canadian teams need to travel all over the United States to play soccer. There are local competitors nearby – down Highway 2 to Calgary, a quick flight to Victoria or Winnipeg. Sure there is some far distant travel to the East Coast, but it sure beats having to head to the U.S. Eastern Seaboard on a regular basis.
Add on to all of this the excitement of the Canadian Championship. CPL teams will get to compete against MLS teams or the Ottawa Fury from the USL. Whether it is this year, or a few years into the future, CPL teams will be winning the Voyageur Cup. In addition to this, CPL teams have the opportunity to compete in the CONCACAF League, and with some true determinations, the CONCACAF Champions League.
Due to the creativity of some fans in the off year between NASL and CPL, Edmonton and Calgary developed a key rivalry, aptly dubbed Al Classico. FC Academy and Calgary Foothills competed in a spring version first. With its success followed the fall version with the prospects of both FC Edmonton and FC Cavalry. One cannot help but be excited to see these two teams meet head-to-head with their full professional rosters hitting the pitch in the uniquely set up Spruce Meadows in Calgary or the home of the rabbit, Clarke Stadium.
This will be played out over five matches through the Spring and Fall Seasons, with the final game of the season between these two rivals on October 19th being not only the potential determining tie for the Al Classico title, but could possibly be key in determining who plays off for the CPL Championship.
Thanks to the hard work and determination of the FC Edmonton organization, the club stayed alive over the past year. The Academy can be deemed nothing but a success with ten of those players coming from the Academy. Combine the experience of the Academy with several key signings from outside of the Academy, FC Edmonton will be a contender.
In the words (or tweets) of Head Coach, Jeff Paulus: #DontCallItAComeBack #Dare2Dream. Yes, Jeff, #Dare2Dream.