MATCH PREVIEW: Eddies focused on the little details to try and earn first W

Jason Hills
FC Edmonton Communications

WINNIPEG — Sunday’s match between FC Edmonton and Valour FC will feature two grumpy teams.
Despite playing well their last several matches, FC Edmonton is still in search of their first win of the season, and Valour FC have left some valuable points slip away their past two matches.

“They’re going to be hungry. They’re going to be frustrated. They’ve played well their last few games and they didn’t get rewarded for it. They’re a little wounded, and just like we are, we’re frustrated that we haven’t been able to turn some decent performances into points, and I know they feel that way about their last game against Ottawa the other day,” said FC Edmonton head coach Alan Koch.
“I know we’re going to play a team that is going to be hungry, motivated and playing at home, but we’re going to be hungry and motivated, too. We know it will be a big challenge, bur we’re excited and looking forward to another good match.”

The Eddies have been putting forward some solid performances over the last few weeks, but that first win of the year has eluded the young squad.
In their last match against Forge FC, they held a 2-1 lead at halftime, but Forge FC was able to score twice in a three minute span and, ended up falling 4-3.
It been little moments in matches that have hurt the Eddies over the last few weeks.

“With a young group still learning how to develop and how to play, you’re going to have difficult moments in the game. We lost concentration and when you lose concentration against a good team like Forge, they will punish you,” said Koch.

FC Edmonton knows each and every week they are considered the underdogs. After starting the season with two straight draws, the Eddies have lost five straight contests, but that hasn’t stopped them from putting an all-out effort and not making it easy for their opposition.
They’ve proven this year that they can compete with every team in the Canadian Premier League, but their inexperience has shown in some of their losses over their current five-match losing skid.

“We’re right there in each game, but it comes down to concentrating in key moments in the game defensively and making sure we’re taking the changes offensively at the right times,” said Eddies midfielder Simon Triantafillou.
“We show that can outwork teams. We work together well, and we’re always fighting, no matter the score line. We just have to get those little details right, that will make all the difference.”

Koch knows full well, the difficulties the Eddies have had both on and off the pitch this season. He’s instilled a ‘never say die’ attitude amongst his young squad, and now he’s trying to get his young players to play each and every match with that same mentality.

“(It’s) frustrating for all of us because even if you know you’re in a difficult situation, we know we’re going to go into every game and fight and try to win,” said Koch.
“We’ll go in with that same mentality. We know playing (Valour) in their stadium is a difficult place to play, but we’re going to go in with purpose. We’re going in with a plan, we hope to execute and we hope to get another good performance from our players.”

ONGARO TRAINING: Former Eddies striker Easton Ongaro is back in his hometown from his stint playing professionally in Romania and has been training with the club this week.
But, that doesn’t mean Ongaro will be imminently rejoining his former team, unfortunately.

“He’s here, and he’s training with us. He reached out to see if he could come train and we would gladly welcome him back, but the lay of the land and the situation with our club right now, I don’t think the league would allow us to sign him,” said Koch.
“We would gladly welcome him back and we’d welcome back all of our former players.
Easton has given this club a lot, and we’d love to sign him, but right now we just don’t have the capacity to sign him.
“Whatever we can do to help him with his next step, we’d gladly do that.”