624 days. FC Edmonton fans waited 624 days to celebrate like they won the Canadian Premier League championship! Okay, it was only game two of the season but if anyone tells you that you are over-celebrating leave the room because you do not need that kind of negativity in your life.
The starting eleven for Coach Koch in game two featured a plethora of change.
- Allan Zebie in for Jeannot Esua (who left the opener early in part due to soreness)
- Mele Temguia in for Ramon Soria
- Game one subs Easton Ongaro (recovering from wrist surgery) & Roberto Avila got the start over Tobias Warschewski & Sharley Mabussi.
- Birthday boy Marcus Velado-Tsegaye (MVT) started, rookie Thomas Gardner started on bench.
- Kyle Porter over Hunter Gorskie as the lineup goes more forward heavy.
The first half saw MVT with a hat-trick of scoring opportunities that he just couldn’t finish. The half-time stat pack showed that Forge FC won the ball possession category but I dare tell anyone willing to listen, FC Edmonton was the better team in the first half.
The second half saw Ongaro miss a couple scoring opportunities you’d like to think he finishes more often than not. Warschewski subbed in for Ongaro and again impressed me with his offensive pressure and presence.
Of course the subs everyone are talking about are Soria and Esua as they accounted for the two FC Edmonton goals. If Las Vegas did prop bets on who would score first for the Eddies, the odds on Soria being the one would have been longer than the Eddies defeating the only championship team this league has known.
Do you recall the frenetic pressure the Eddies put on during stoppage time trying to avoid a loss in game one? Well, the Forge got nowhere near that amount of pressure during their desperation time. The Forge had less time to work with than what the Eds had in game one but even if they had that extra time, there was no sense of “us” being in danger. That fans, is the best part of that Esua goal to salt away the game.
Next up is York United on Sunday evening. What will Coach Koch do with his starting eleven? Do Esua and Soria stay as subs? Will we ever see Ongaro and Warschewski on the pitch at the same time? Will game one wonders Mabussi and Gardner be given time to shine? Does MVT’s good first half in game two net him the start in game three?
So many questions and they are all of a positive nature. What a wonderful feeling!