Eddies look to continue to grow and finish season strong
September 8, 2022
FC Edmonton Communications
EDMONTON — It’s been a difficult season for FC Edmonton, but head coach Alan Koch is focusing on the positives and looking to continue to build momentum with the club as they finish out the final month of the 2022 campaign.
The Eddies are unbeaten in their last three matches (1-2-0), and are coming off an impressive 0-0 draw on the road against Atletico Ottawa, who sit atop the Canadian Premier League standings.
Now, they will look to continue their strong play and earn their first road win of the season when they battle York United FC on Friday night (5:30 p.m. MT).
“It’s not common for the team at the bottom to go to the team at the top’s place and get anything out of the game,” said Koch.
“For us to go there and put in, what I thought, was a good performance and get a point, was a huge positive for our group.
“I think early in the year, we definitely wouldn’t have been able to hang on to that point, so it shows the progression. But it was also nice for the players to get a reward. Everyone is working incredibly hard and we don’t always get rewarded with a result. I think everybody is growing; they’re growing in terms of performances and growing in confidence, too, as we move forward.”
There are plenty of positives to build on for the Eddies over the last month, both team-wise and individually.
Offensively, the Eddies have been led by a rejuvenated Tobias Warschewski, who is back to his early season form, and Azriel Gonzalez. The duo, who formed strong chemistry together upfront last year have both scored three goals in their last four matches.
Defensively, FC Edmonton has been stingy, conceding just three goals in their last four matches. In goal, Darlington Murasiranwa earned his second start of the season on Aug.21 in a 1-1 draw against Valour, and the 21-year-old has put together the best stretch of his young career, helping the Eddies to one win and two draws in his last three outings.
This will be the fourth meeting of the season between FC Edmonton and York United FC. The Eddies have had some success against York this year, earning a 3-0 win as well as a 1-1 draw at home, and lost a heartbreaker 3-2 in their lone meeting in Ontario last month.
It seems as though when these two teams meet, fans are in for an entertaining contest.
“These are the two youngest teams in the league, so I think you can see a lot of the energy and youthful exuberance,” said Koch.
“Sometimes we pull off outstanding things, sometimes they do, too. I think sometimes they make mistakes and sometimes we make mistakes, too, and I think that’s a big part of both groups being so young.
“They have the benefit of having a bit more experience along their spine (down the middle) and I think it showed the last game. You have a guy like Jordan Wilson that is a lot older than all our players who goes out and scores the game winner for them. They are fortunate to have that, because we don’t have that, but there is a lot of commonality between our group and both of that is youth-based.”
After their match against York, FC Edmonton will return home and face their provincial rivals, Cavalry FC on Sept.17 and then take on Forge FC, before finishing out their season with a trip to Victoria to face Pacific FC, and a home match against Valour FC.
While the results haven’t always been there, it’s been a season of growth and learning for the Eddies, who have had to endure as much adversity off the pitch this season as on, with the club’s ownership situation still unresolved.
Several of the club’s young players have grown into strong players, not just for the Eddies, but among the rest of the league.
“I think our biggest deficiencies as a group are immaturity and inexperience,” Koch said.
“I think both of those things are youth-based, because many of our players have never been in this type of environment before.
“But I think in both of these regards, the players have grown; they haven’t gone from being babies to adults in the space of a few months, but there has definitely been maturity that has evolved on and off the field. They’re learning and they’re gaining experience from this.”