Advertisement
Sports

FC Edmonton coach reflects on inaugural CPL season, prepares for final home game of 2019

WATCH ABOVE: Some Global News videos about FC Edmonton.

A crack at the league championship has been out of reach for some time, but FC Edmonton’s head coach says his team is motivated as it prepares for its final home game of 2019.

“[We want to] win for our fans,” Jeff Paulus said on Tuesday.
“They’ve been loyal. They’ve been coming out in poor weather and rough conditions to sit through a 90-minute match and without a covered stadium… we owe it to them for their support… [and] we still want to fight for third place overall.”

FC Edmonton is currently in sixth place in the Canadian Premier League’s fall season standings.

Cavalry FC (Calgary) and Forge FC (Hamilton) sit on top of the league table and have already clinched their spots in the league championships later this month after also dominating the spring season.

READ MORE: Canadian Premier League unveils schedule for Forge FC-Cavalry FC final

“I think the league’s done a great job of marketing and branding itself, introducing ourselves to the professional stage in this country — we are the tier 1 domestic league in Canada,” Paulus said when asked for his thoughts on how the CPL’s inaugural season has gone. “When you look at some of the achievements, like Calgary’s (Cavalry FC) run, beating an MLS team (Vancouver Whitecaps)… the run by Forge (FC) at CONCACAF… I think we’re ahead of the game in Year 1.

Story continues below advertisement
“The level of play is higher than I thought it would be coming in… [and] we’ve showcased so many young Canadian players.”

READ MORE: FC Edmonton defender Amer Didic works his way onto Canadian national team roster

One of those players who was showcased is Bruno Zebie, who is playing his first season of professional soccer for FC Edmonton, his hometown team.

“It was a good experience to play in front of fans and family,” Zebie said on Tuesday. “It meant a lot more to us because it was our own league, a Canadian league.

“It was very special… I couldn’t ask for more in terms of playing time.”

Paulus said in addition to trying to win the final home game of the year for fans, the city and to try and move up in the standings, players have another reason to be motivated to win.

“These are moments to showcase themselves,” the coach said. “Everybody’s looking for opportunities for next year, whether that’s with us or another club, so they know the importance of staying sharp.”

FC Edmonton’s match against Pacific FC will kickoff at 7 p.m. at Clarke Field on Wednesday. The team’s final game of the year will be at Spruce Meadows to take on Cavalry FC on Saturday.