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Club Story: FC Edmonton

For many that call it home, Edmonton is known for more than being the Gateway to the North It’s the vibrancy, diversity and character that binds the communities.

The people of Edmonton are gritty, innovative and resourceful. They also look for opportunities to achieve, to create and to learn from their mistakes. If there’s one thing about Edmontonians you can count on, they will always rally for their city.

The origins of soccer in Alberta go back to 1862 and Fort Edmonton Park. Modern professional history really started in 1978, when the Edmonton Black Gold club, formed by Brian Rice, caught the eye of Edmonton Oilers owner Peter Pocklington. In 1979, the professional club known as the Drillers landed in the Alberta capital and began play at Commonwealth Stadium before moving to Clarke Stadium.

The Canadian Soccer League rose after the North American Soccer league ceased operations, and Edmonton was represented by the Brickman, a club formed in 1985 to play in the Western Alliance Challenge Series.

Edmonton has always supported its national teams. Canadian Men’s national team players have rated the city as a top destination because of its partisan home crowd.

Edmonton hosted many international soccer games and tournaments including a pre-World Cup friendly between Canada and Brazil in 1994 and the FIFA 2007 U-20 World Cup, which featured several games at Commonwealth Stadium. Perhaps the most amazing support was shown when Edmonton hosted the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship. Nine years ago, brothers Tom and Dave Fath decided to branch out from their family’s business and looked to sport to give back to their community. The Faths believed and continue to believe that a professional team in Edmonton would create a pathway for local talent to pursue their dream of playing at a professional level.

FC Edmonton was founded in late 2009, becoming an original member of the North American Soccer League. In 2010, the club fielded Alberta players, the majority coming from Edmonton. The club gave local players a pathway and a purpose, while building a spirit of partnership and support for the community.

Passionate fans rallied around their new team. They sang, they chanted – and in 2011, they got a little help from a four-legged friend at their old home at Foote Field. It was on a sunny Sunday afternoon in late June that the Eddies were taking on their rivals in the MLS bound Montreal Impact. The game started with the Eddies taking an early lead with Kyle Porter’s goal in the 5th minute. The Eddies were hanging on to a slim lead for the entire game and Montreal was pressing, then suddenly, a rabbit ran onto the field. Impact players were trying to chase it off the field. In the end, Montreal could not regain their focus and the Eddies finally beat their Canadian rivals.

The Eddies played seven seasons in the NASL. In 2012, FC Edmonton started a youth male academy and the following year they partnered with the Alberta Soccer Association to form a youth female academy.

FC Edmonton ceased operations in November 2017. But, the Fath brothers kept a focus on the Eddies academies as they accessed the possibilities of restoring the professional team in the city. What supporters didn’t realize was that a new rally was about to begin.

There’s a set of values that Edmontonians want in their sports teams which includes honesty, effort, courage, and a never-give-up mentality. FC Edmonton’s on-field history supports those virtues. This is the rally identity.

The technical philosophy and characteristics among Northern Alberta soccer players is one of toughness. Edmonton and Alberta teams are in general tough opponents. They’re not divers. The focus is placed on competing and winning, not tricking the referees into calls. These will be the key standards for FC Edmonton’s identity going forward.

The core philosophy of the club and owners Tom and Dave Fath is giving opportunities to hometown players to develop their skills in a professional environment. Having a roster of mainly local players will be a main priority for FC Edmonton. The FCE Academy has set the bar, and players in the area have been difficult opponents. Supporters can expect nothing less from their CPL club.

RALLYEG together for our club

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