Mélé Temguia probably owes former Eddie Daryl Fordyce a pint or two for his new gig.
FC Edmonton Head Coach and Director of Soccer Operations Jeff Paulus says it was Fordyce who suggested the gaffer take a closer look at the 23-year-old centreback after the two played together at FC Cincinnati of the United Soccer League in 2017.
“I’ve watched some video, and I’ve liked what I’ve seen,” explained Paulus. “He’s good on the ball, and likes to take his space on the dribble if it’s there.”
A product of the Montreal Impact Academy, Temguia also played with FC Montreal of the USL before that club disbanded.
“I am grateful, proud and happy of the years I spent with the Montreal Impact organisation,” Temguia said. “I learned what being a professional soccer player means.”
“Both the academy and FC Montreal helped me become the person and player I am today.”
So, what type of player is Temguia? At around 6’2” tall, he seems to fit the mold of a big, strong central defender, but Paulus’ systems demand a player be able to move the ball well, which is where Temguia believes his strength lies.
“I like to play out of the back, and connect passes with my teammates.” Temguia offered. “I will always work hard and do my best for my teammates, the club, the fans and the city.”
“I want them to feel proud to be part of that.”
“I think you get a young player you can mold in that position, which is a key spot,” Paulus said. “We’ll see where his potential takes him, but he’ll definitely get an opportunity.”
Following his time in Cincinnati, Temguia headed down under to play for Valentine Phoenix FC and Hume City FC in Australia’s second division. It was an adventure not without its challenges, but one the young defender believes was a great experience.
“The jet lag and the fact that it was harder to communicate with family and friends was one of many challenges,” suggested Temguia. “However, it wasn’t the first time I was in a different country or not living at home, so my past experiences made it easier for me to adapt and embrace the challenge.”
As for his latest challenge, Temguia says he knows players who have played for FC Edmonton during the North American Soccer League days, and they’ve all had positive things to say about the club. Joining the Canadian Premier League is a golden opportunity for a young Canadian player like Temguia.
“It is amazing to have the chance to play in your own country,” the defender said. “For those from all around the world, it is a wonderful experience too, as it gives a chance for them to live in, visit and enjoy the beautiful country that is Canada.”
“I want the club to be successful, and obviously, I am looking forward to being a part of that success.”
FC Edmonton is a proud member of the Canadian Premier League. Our home opener is Sunday, May 12! Season tickets begin at just $240! For more information, head to our website – https://fcedmonton.canpl.ca/season-tickets/