|Full name||FC Edmonton|
November 10, 2009|
June 8, 2018[a] (refounded)
The Fath Group|
(Tom and Dave Fath)
|General manager||Jay Ball|
|League||Canadian Premier League|
|2017||NASL, 7th of 8 (combined)|
FC Edmonton is a Canadian professional soccer club based in Edmonton, Alberta. The club will compete in the Canadian Premier League in the inaugural 2019 season and play its home games at Clarke Stadium.
- 1 History
- 2 Stadium
- 3 Crest and colours
- 4 Club culture
- 5 Staff
- 6 Broadcasting
- 7 Record
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 External links
In February 2010, FC Edmonton was launched by brothers Tom Fath and Dave Fath as founding members of the North American Soccer League. The club spent the first year playing exhibition matches against teams including Colo Colo, the Spokane Spiders and Vitória, with a squad mostly represented by Albertan college students and amateur players. The team also played an honorary match against the Canadian Armed Forces on Canada Day in July.
In December 2010, head coach Dwight Lodeweges and his assistant Hans Schrijver left the club before competing in a professional game to take a job in Japan. He was replaced by fellow Dutchman Harry Sinkgraven shortly after.
North American Soccer League (2011–2017)
On April 9, 2011, the team played its first competitive game and recorded a 2–1 victory against Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Alberta-native Shaun Saiko scored the first goal in the club's history. FC Edmonton finished their first season in fifth and qualified for the 2011 NASL Playoffs quarterfinals, but were knocked out in a 5–0 defeat against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
Schrijver returned to the club as assistant head coach for the 2012 season, but just five wins from 28 games led to the club finishing bottom of the table. In September 2012, both Sinkgraven and Schrijver were both released due to poor results. On November 27, Colin Miller was named as the club's new head coach.
The club saw slight improvement during Miller's first year in charge, finishing fifth in the spring season before slipping to seventh in the fall season. However, the 2014 season saw considerable improvement for the club. After struggling in ninth in the spring season, FC Edmonton recorded their best ever league finish to date in third place during the fall season.
The 2015 season bought a similar scenario for the club after a 10th-place finish in the spring season. The club bounced back again to finish fifth in the fall season and miss a playoff position by just four points. FC Edmonton improved further for the 2016 season and recorded third-place finishes in both the spring and fall seasons. The club missed out on topping the spring season table by a single point after both Indy Eleven and the New York Cosmos recorded 18 points.
FC Edmonton returned to former ways during the 2017 season and struggled to seventh-placed finishes in both the spring and fall seasons. On November 24, 2017, the club ceased professional operations citing the sustainability of the team and "continuous uncertainty being forced upon the NASL by the United States Soccer Federation". FC Edmonton continued to run their academies in hope of re-establishing the professional team at a later date.
Canadian Premier League (from 2019)
On June 5, 2018, it was announced that the newly-formed Canadian Premier League had approved the City of Edmonton for a professional club to compete in the league. Three days later, FC Edmonton announced their return to professional soccer. As well as confirming their place in the league for the 2019 season, the club also revealed a new crest and branding.
- Foote Field; Edmonton, Alberta (2011)
- Clarke Stadium; Edmonton, Alberta (2012–2017, from 2019)
- Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, Alberta (2011–2013) three games (one per season) in Canadian Championship
- SMS Equipment Stadium, Fort McMurray, Alberta (2015) two games.
The team began playing its home games at Foote Field, a 3,500-seater stadium viewed as the centrepiece of a multi-purpose sports facility on the University of Alberta campus. Initially built as a legacy facility for the 2001 World Championships, it was named after University of Alberta alumnus Eldon Foote, who donated $2 million towards the construction costs.
In 2012, the team moved into Clarke Stadium, the former home of the Edmonton Drillers, the Edmonton Brickmen, and the Edmonton Aviators. The club soon expanded the capacity from 1,200 to over 5,000 with temporary seat-back and bleacher seating, and tried to find a permanent solution to bring the capacity up to 15,000.
Between 2011 and 2013, FC Edmonton played three games at Commonwealth Stadium, a much larger stadium with a capacity of 60,081. Two games were also played at SMS Equipment Stadium in 2015 as an opportunity to increase the club's exposure in Fort McMurray.
In order to join the Canadian Premier League, FC Edmonton asked the City of Edmonton to help increase the capacity to 7,000 to meet the demands of the league. The club cited that "the decision to join will bring in more fans as rivalries between national teams will be much stronger than the club experienced when it was in the North American Soccer League". In June 2019, FC Edmonton announced they would play at Clarke Stadium for the 2019 season.
Crest and colours
The club's original crest was used from 2010 until 2017. A maple leaf, a common representation of Canada, sat atop the crest in a crown-like manner with the club competing in a largely American-dominated league. The design also included a football and the club's name. The club adopted the shade of blue used by City of Edmonton.
The club redesigned the crest for their move to the Canadian Premier League and opted for a minimally changed colourway. The crest was shaped on Edmonton's coat of arms, and features rabbit footprints in tribute to the infamous mascot and symbol of good luck, the Rally Rabbit. The design also includes representation of the North Saskatchewan River. The 'FCE' lettering stands for both FC Edmonton and the club's three main beliefs – family, courage and energy.
The official club colours are prairie blue sky, river city navy and white rabbit. Prairie blue sky is used to represent the sky of the Canadian Prairies, while the other colours pay further homage to the North Saskatchewan River and the Rally Rabbit.
The FC Edmonton Supporters Group was formed in early 2010 by five members of The Voyageurs, a Canadian national team supporters group, in response to the announcement that an Edmonton team would compete in the North American Soccer League in 2011. The group aimed to bring a 'European-style' atmosphere to games in a similar manner to the Red Patch Boys in Toronto and the Vancouver Southsiders. The group folded in September 2018, with the creation of the River Valley Vanguard.
In December 2017, YEG for CPL was created as a group of passionate supporters hoping to persuade the club to join the Canadian Premier League. The group were recognized by owners Tom Fath and Dave Fath, and general manager Jay Ball, as part of the reason the club returned to professional soccer. At his official unveiling as head coach, Jeff Paulus praised the group saying "I'm grateful to the YEG for CPL members and all those who fought to save this club".
In September 2018, after the success of the YEG for CPL campaign, the River Valley Vanguard was created. The new supporters group is headquartered at Edmonton's Old Town Pub.
The Rally Rabbit has been an important part of the club's culture since its inception in 2011. On June 26, the club faced the Montreal Impact at Foote Field before they left the North American Soccer League for Major League Soccer. Kyle Porter opened the scoring in the fifth minute but FC Edmonton looked likely to tire under the pressure of the Impact. In the later stages of the game, a rabbit made its way onto the pitch and sat in front of the Montreal goal. Home supporters cheered for the rabbit and the Edmonton players did not seem bothered, but the visiting team could not stop trying to chase the rabbit off the field. The team failed to regain their focus and FC Edmonton saw out the victory. The rabbit has since made several unscripted appearances and is always welcomed by cheers from the crowd, seen by supporters as a measure of good luck. The Rally Rabbit has also been known as Eddie Bunny or Eddie Jackalope.
During their time in the North American Soccer League, FC Edmonton's main rivalry was with Ottawa Fury, the only other Canadian team competing in the league when they joined in 2014. The meetings between the two sides were named "The Battle of Canada" and occurred in both the league and the Canadian Championship. The two teams met every year in the preliminary round over two legs, with the first ever meeting ending in a goalless draw on April 23, 2014. A week later, FC Edmonton won 3–1 in the home leg with two goals from Daryl Fordyce and one from Hanson Boakai. The first league derby between the two teams took place on May 31, with Ottawa Fury emerging as 1–0 victors after scoring a 90th-minute goal. The second meeting on July 13 saw a goalless draw as Ottawa Fury played with ten men for over 30 minutes, before FC Edmonton recorded their first league victory against the Fury with a 2–0 win on October 18.
In 2011, a rivalry was also formed over the course of the season between FC Edmonton and the NSC Minnesota Stars. In the aftermath of the 2011 Slave Lake wildfire in Alberta, a Minnesota supporters group raised money for affected families. This was reciprocated by an Edmonton supporters group who donated to the American Red Cross after a series of tornadoes which affected Minnesota. These events formed a friendly rivalry between the teams, and the supporters groups created the Flyover Cup. The name was chosen because Edmonton and Minnesota lie in the flight paths of transcontinental flights, but are often passed over by tourists. The symbol of the cup is a loon, being an unofficial national bird of Canada and also the state bird of Minnesota.
In 2018, the FC Edmonton Academy played provincial rivals the Calgary Foothills FC in two friendly games to help them prepare for their upcoming season. The fixtures were also used to gauge Edmonton's interest into a potential return to join the Canadian Premier League. The series was suggested by supporters groups from the two clubs and dubbed "Al Classico", inspired by the El Clásico rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona. The rivalry will continue between FC Edmonton and Cavalry FC when the Canadian Premier League begins in April 2019.
- As of July 3, 2018
|General manager||Jay Ball|
|Head coach||Jeff Paulus|
- As of July 3, 2018
|Dwight Lodeweges||March 9, 2010||December 3, 2010||0||0||0||0||—|
|Harry Sinkgraven||December 7, 2010||September 28, 2012||60||15||16||29||25.00|
|Colin Miller||November 27, 2012||November 24, 2017||162||52||43||67||32.10|
|Jeff Paulus||July 3, 2018||present||0||0||0||0||—|
When the club competed in the North American Soccer League, FC Edmonton matches were broadcast by a variety of distributors on various formats. Radio commentaries were broadcast on The Team 1260, the local sports radio station, from 2011 to 2013. In 2013, matches were televised on Sportsnet 360. Matches were also previously available to view free through the team's Ustream channel until the introduction of NASL Live, a paid-subscription service, which was subsequently abandoned.
In 2016 and 2017, Canadian viewers could stream matches for free at NASL.com while American viewers required subscriptions to various broadcasters including ESPN3, beIN Sports and the CBS Sports Network. It is not yet known how FC Edmonton matches in the Canadian Premier League will be broadcast.
- As of June 30, 2018
|2012||28||5||10||13||26||36||25||8th||Did not qualify||Semi-finals||1,492||Shaun Saiko||7|||
|2015||30||9||8||13||41||46||35||7th||Semi-finals||3,122|| Lance Laing
|2016||32||15||8||9||25||21||53||3rd||Semi-finals||Preliminary round||2,060||Daryl Fordyce||6|||
|2017||32||7||6||19||25||42||27||7th||Did not qualify||Preliminary round||3,408|| Tomi Ameobi
Note: Only league goals counted for top scorer
- As of June 30, 2018
|1||Forward||Daryl Fordyce||Northern Ireland||2013–17||30||0||4||34|
|7||Midfielder||Dustin Corea||El Salvador||2015–17||7||0||1||8|
|Forward||Jake Keegan||United States||2016–17||7||0||1||8|
- As of June 30, 2018
|1||Defender||Albert Watson||Northern Ireland||2013–17||128||1||11||140|
|2||Forward||Daryl Fordyce||Northern Ireland||2013–17||110||1||12||123|
|9||Midfielder||Dustin Corea||El Salvador||2015–17||62||1||4||67|
|10||Forward||Jake Keegan||United States||2016–17||61||1||4||66|
NASL Best XI
|2016||Matt Van Oekel||Goalkeeper|
NASL Player of the Month
|August||Matt Van Oekel||Goalkeeper|
NASL Young Player of the Year
NASL Golden Glove
|2016||Matt Van Oekel|
- The club ended its 8 month hiatus and joined the CPL on June 8, 2018
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