Match Preview: Strikers at FC Edmonton
Fort Lauderdale, FL (May 1, 2014) – The Fort Lauderdale Strikers travel to Alberta, Canada this Saturday, May 3rd to take on FC Edmonton at Clarke Stadium at 9:00 p.m. EDT. The game will be available online through NASLLive.com. Fans can subscribe to the service for free to watch every Strikers game in the Spring season.
FC Edmonton (0W- 1T-2L, 1pt) is coming off a 1-0 loss to Minnesota United. The Strikers (2-0-1, 6 pts) travel to Edmonton after an impressive 3-2 victory over Indy Eleven at Lockhart Stadium that lifted the team to third place in the NASL Standings.
Three players scored their first goals of the season in the win vs. Indy. Martin Nuñez, the Strikers’ leading scorer in 2013, opened his account in just the seventh minute, while first-year Strikers Fafà Picault and Marius Ebbers struck in the second half to register their first goals in Strikers colors and earn the victory.
Coach Kronsteiner - “Edmonton is always tough. It’s one of the hardest teams to travel to. They’re very well organized defensively. Last place doesn’t mean anything, they’re much better than the standings say. Our team is coming off a good win, but we need to stay focused and get points on the road.”
Season stats- Goals: Rafael Alves, Marius Ebbers, Darnell King, Martin Nuñez, Chris Nurse, Fafà Picault (1); Assists: Iván Guerrero (2), Mark Anderson, Carlos Salazar (1)
Profiling FC Edmonton
Three games into the season, FC Edmonton find themselves at the bottom of the NASL Standings. The team opened up the campaign with an encouraging 1-1 draw in Tampa Bay against the Rowdies, but the result was followed with 1-0 losses to the New York Cosmos and Minnesota United FC, with a scoreless draw against Ottawa Fury FC in the Amway Canadian Championship sandwiched in-between the defeats.
The biggest problem for Edmonton has been scoring goals. The team managed to score in the season opener, but has failed to find the net in three matches since. The Eddies did manage to put three past Ottawa in the second leg of the cup on Wednesday, April 30th, but offseason attacking acquisitions Frank Jonke, Horace James and Tomi Ameobi are yet to fire on all cylinders.
The Eddies boast one of the best defenses in the league, anchored by captain Albert Watson and former Strikers defender Lance Laing. The team conceded just 26 goals in 26 matches in 2013, and while they occupy 10th place this season, Edmonton has allowed only 3 goals in 3 games.
NASL Team of the Week 3
Ivan Guerrero and Marius Ebbers were selected to the NASL Team of the Week for week 3. A solid performance defensively and two assists assured Guerrero the induction into this week’s top XI. Guerrero's assists both came in the second half on crosses, the first one finding the head of Fafà Picault who had just entered the game, and the second one to Ebbers who was able to control the ball inside the box and beat both the defender and the goalkeeper. Ebbers’ fantastic first NASL goal and overall play earned him his first selection into the NASL Team of the Week.
Stéphane Guillaume (knee) is expected to be out until the Fall season.
Rafael Alves (ankle) has missed the past two matches.
Players to Watch
6 • Chris Nurse- The tough-tackling midfielder has been a defensive rock for the Strikers this season in front of the back four, and has even chipped in with a goal. The Strikers will need the Guyana international to continue his good form as he faces his former teammates in Edmonton.
11 • Fafà Picault- The speedy winger made a large impact as a substitute in the Strikers 3-2 win over Indy Eleven, coming on in the second half and quickly scoring his first goal of the year on a powerful header. Fafà has made substitute appearances in all three matches this season. Look for his introduction if the Strikers are in need of a goal.
Overall vs FC Edmonton: 6W-5T-2L
FTL at Edmonton: 2-3-1
2013 vs FCE: 1-3-0 (Win was at Edmonton)
FTL leads the league in goals scored
Six (6) different players have scored the Strikers’ six goals this season
The Strikers next home match will be on May 10th against the Atlanta Silverbacks at Lockhart Stadium at 7:30 p.m.