The FC Edmonton Journey Since 2010
FC Edmonton was founded in a spirit of partnership and support for the community. This is the foundation on which Tom and Dave Fath built their team: giving local players a pathway and a purpose.
“I don’t care what it’s called…
I’ll support whatever team Tom
Uwe Welz, Victoria Soccer Club Edmonton
Tom says that since the mid-1950s the city has been good to O’Hanlon Paving Ltd. and the Fath Group, the businesses owned by him, Dave, and their late father, Ron; and Tom and Dave strongly believe it’s important to give back to the community. That was the conviction behind the decision to form FC Edmonton.
It was late 2009 when the dream took shape. After a long hiatus, the North American Soccer League was reborn, and the Fath brothers became founding owners in the revamped professional soccer league.
FC Edmonton played its first professional game on April 9, 2011, against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and came away with a 2-1 victory on the road. The team was comprised mostly of local, homegrown players. The team played in three different stadiums over the first 2 seasons (Foote Field, Commonwealth Stadium, and Clarke Stadium), and the fan base grew — with several sell-out crowds in the 2017 season.
With FC Edmonton as one of the NASL’s founding members, Tom and Dave stood staunchly behind the fledgling league through thick and thin. But after seven seasons in the NASL, without any nearby rivals (the closest being San Francisco, which joined the league for one season in 2017), the club withdrew from the NASL at the end of the 2017 season and began to refocus on its Academies and growing its fan base, with an eye toward the Canadian Premier League.
The FC Edmonton Academy is a great source of pride for the Fath brothers. It is a fully-funded youth program for young women and men. The U16/18 male program has moved over 30 local young men into Canadian universities and colleges and the NCAA system on full-ride scholarships, with another 25 players called to play for Canada’s national teams.
The Academy male program has also enabled seven young, homegrown players to sign professional contracts at home and abroad. In the Academy program for young women, to date 100% of the graduates have progressed to post secondary play, with no fewer than 12 having gone to the United States to compete in NCAA schools on scholarships. In addition, two young women players have competed in the U17 World Cup for Canada, and most recently another played in the U20 CONCACAF championship.
The Fath brothers are confident that the Academy can continue to produce top Canadian talent, players capable of shining in the Canadian national teams and/or in the CPL. The Fath brothers have literally and figuratively paved the way for the next generation of soccer players in Edmonton.