FC Edmonton adds 2 new faces ahead of CPL’s Island Games

FC Edmonton players practise at the Edmonton Soccer Dome. (June 2019). Global News

With just 10 days until the Canadian Premier League’s Island Games on Prince Edward Island, FC Edmonton announced Monday that the team has added two more young defenders to its roster.

Twenty-year-old fullback Terique Mohammed is joining the team on a loan deal with Toronto FC II while Sam Gardner, a 23-year-old centre back, has signed with the team for the 2020 CPL season. Gardner recently played at the NCAA Division I level in the U.S., appearing in 21 games in 2018 for Grand Canyon University.

Both players hail from Toronto and will join the Eddies as they embark on a unique and shortened season after the COVID-19 pandemic put the CPL season on hold for four months.

“During a short season, where the health and freshness of the athlete may overshadow the technical and tactical components of the game, we wanted to ensure a balanced roster with multiple options at every position,” FC Edmonton coach Jeff Paulus said in a post on the team’s website.

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“With the addition of these two players, we now believe we have the flexibility to rotate players throughout the season.”

READ MORE: Canadian Premier League to play 2020 season in Charlottetown 

Of Mohammed, Paulus said the young fullback “has the power and pace that is already there for the next level and provides a very big attacking threat from our left side.”

Paulus also spoke highly of Gardner, whom he described as having “a very high ceiling.”

“He was an accomplished defender at the NCAA D-I level, and even with his impressive size, he has good agility and technical ability,” the coach said.

“We like that Sam looks to play forward and his range of passing is very good.”

On Monday, the team also announced that travel restrictions related to COVID-19 mean the Eddies have been unable to bring in Peruvian winder Raúl Tito, whom the team signed in February.

READ MORE: FC Edmonton signs 22-year-old Peruvian winger, calls move a ‘significant attacking addition’ 

Paulus said the team is still looking for a way to bring Tito into the fold and that the soccer team intends to have him on its roster for the 2021 season.

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Watch below: Some Global News videos about FC Edmonton.