Highlanders to face diverse Edmonton roster at Centennial Stadium
VICTORIA – Victoria Highlanders FC host FC Edmonton on Wednesday, July 2 at Centennial Stadium. Edmonton FC’s friendly will be the first of two summer exhibition matches for the Highlanders, with the second taking place Monday, July 21 against Glasgow Rangers FC, also at Centennial Stadium.
FC Edmonton of the North American Soccer League (NASL), boasts an impressive collection of players on their roster including former Canadian national youth team members, a former Premier Development League product, and a diverse group of national players.
FC Edmonton’s starting goalkeeper is Mississauga, Ont. native John Smits. The 25-year-old has appeared in all nine of Edmonton’s matches to start the 2014 season. Substitute ‘keeper Tyson Farago spent a season in the PDL. In 2012, while playing in the CIS with the University of Winnipeg, Farago tied the CIS record for single saves in a season and spent the summer with WSA Winnipeg of the PDL. Lance Parker rounds up the trio of goalkeepers for the Eddies. The 2013 campaign saw the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma native play 1735 minutes for Edmonton, third-most in the league, and he posted the second-lowest GAA with a .950 mark.
The Eddies’ defensive core includes standouts such as Kareem Moses, Lance Laing, Michael Nonni, Mallan Roberts, Marko Aleksic, Albert Watson, and Eddie Edward. With nine appearances on the 2014 season, Laing has led the way. Moses, for Trinidad and Tobago, Moses, with Ireland, and Laing, for Jamaica, have all suited up for their national teams at some point in their career.
Edmonton FC’s midfield squad includes Horace James, Hanson Tamba Boakai, Milton Blanco, Ritchie Jones, Edem Mortotsi, Neil Hlavaty, Mike Banner, and Massimo Mirabelli. Originally from Guinea, Boakai was nominated for 2013 Canadian Soccer’s Player of the Year award in the U-17 men’s group. Banner played five seasons in the Major Soccer League (MLS), making 54 appearances with the Chicago Fire. Meanwhile, Mirabelli played for the U-20 Canadian national team in the 2010 CONCACAF World Cup.
Rounding out the Edmonton FC roster are the forwards, which include Oluwatomiwo Ameobi, Daryl Fordyce, Frank Jonke, and Sadi Jalali. 19-year-old Jalali played his first U-17 for the Canadian national team at 14-years-old, helping them win a silver medal in CONCACAF and appeared in the U-17 World Cup. Meanwhile, 2014 goalscoring leader Fordyce, with five goals in nine appearances, played for the Glasgow Rangers youth side between the ages of 11 and 16.
Kick-off at Centennial Stadium between the Highlanders and FC Edmonton is set for 6:00 p.m. PST. Seating is general admission and tickets can be purchased at www.selectyourtickets.ca or by calling 250-220-7777. Tickets will also be available on site at game day.
Wednesday’s match is the first of two July exhibition matches the Highlanders will host at Centennial Stadium, with world-famous Glasgow Rangers FC arriving July 21 to take on the Highlanders at 6:00 p.m. The pair of exhibition matches represent the Highlanders efforts to establish themselves as the top small-market sports franchise in North America. For more information on these matches and the Highlanders FC organization, please visit www.highlandersfc.ca.