Singh embracing opportunity to develop with FC Edmonton
May 5, 2022
Jason Hills FC Edmonton Communications
EDMONTON — At just 21, Luke Singh has built up a nice resume to start his professional soccer career.
But like many young players in the game, he’s looking for an opportunity to play, develop and grow even more.
He’s getting that chance with FC Edmonton this season.
The Brampton, Ont. product was loaned to the club by Toronto FC, and Singh is trying to make the most of his reassignment.
“I need that experience playing pro, and coming here gives me that opportunity to grow. I’m still young, and I have so much to learn, playing centre back,” said Singh.
“Coming into this team, I’ve tried to stay focused on what I do best to help this team and I want to come into training every day to work hard and lead by example and learn as much as I can from this experience.”
Singh is certainly getting playing time.
As FC Edmonton gets set to take on Cavalry FC at home on Friday, Singh is one of three defenders, including Nyal Higgins and Cale Loughrey along with goalkeeper Andreas Vaikla to play every single minute (450) in the Eddies first five matches.
“Luke has been an absolute pleasure to have part of our club. He’s been a true professional on and off the field,” said FC Edmonton head coach Alan Koch.
“He’s come in with an open heart and mind mentality. He wants to grow so much as a professional player, and I can already see progressions as a footballer in his short time with us.”
Singh, like many young kids growing up playing soccer in the greater Toronto area had dreams of playing for Toronto FC.
Singh was able to reach that goal in 2021 when he signed a short-term deal with the club. He managed to play in six matches, scoring a goal in just his second professional game for TFC against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Singh is a great example for young soccer players. He tried out for the Toronto FC Academy at 13, and was cut, but he didn’t quit. He continued to put the work in.
He was able to join TFC’s Academy in 2017, and made 10 appearances for TFC III in 2018.
Singh trained with TFC II for the next three years (2019-21), and was even loaned out by TFC to Bronby (professional club in Denmark), before cracking TFC’s MLS roster last year.
“You always dream of playing for your hometown and city, and I loved being able to experience that,” smiled Singh.
Singh has also represented Trinidad and Tobago in 2016 and 2018 at the U-17 and U20 levels. While he was born in Canada, both his parents are from Trinidad and Tobago.
“It was an incredible experience. It’s a different feeling playing for your country. Even though, I wasn’t born there, I felt like I was representing my parents,” said Singh.
“It was a big moment for my family and I.”
Because of his experience playing with TFC, Singh is part of the FIFA video game series for Xbox and Playstation. Singh admits he’s a big gamer and being able to play as himself in FIFA is surreal.
One mode of FIFA’s video game series is called FUT, and it allows gamers to collect player cards and build their rosters and play online against others.
That’s Singh’s favourite mode to play, as he can use himself and play with all of the great star soccer players of the past and present.
“I can’t start with me, I have to wait and put him on (the pitch). He’s low rated, he’s only a 57, and my team is really good,” laughed Singh.
“I have players like Pele, Maradona, Theodore Hernandez. My team is loaded. I sub myself in the 70th minute when their attackers start to get tired, I sub myself in. “It’s crazy to be part of that video game, but I look ugly as hell in that game. They only got the blond curly hair right.”
Through the first five matches with FC Edmonton, Singh has been a physical presence and leader on the Eddies back line as a centre back.
He currently leads the Canadian Premier League in interceptions with 18. Singh’s game isn’t flashy, but he makes his presence known to the opposition when they face him on the pitch.
“He’s physical in the right way. He competes to win the ball, but he’s not just a physical centre back. He’s very good technically with his left foot and he’s very comfortable with the ball,” said Koch.
Through his two decades of coaching, Koch has sent and received players on loan, and sometimes the player doesn’t use the opportunity to grow and develop as a player. They treat the reassignment as a negative.
“You have a choice as a young player when you go on loan. Do you feel sorry for yourself? Or do you realize this is a fantastic opportunity to show what you can do, and I’ve had players in the past that haven’t had that right mentality,” said Koch.
“(Luke’s)mentality has been fantastic. He pulls his socks up and comes to work hard every day. He has his good days and bad days like we all do, but he keeps applying himself and works hard to improve every day.”