The goal is to win league championships, unless it is not. 2021 for FC Edmonton was not about being a Cinderella story that went from last place in 2020 to first place this season. With a new Head Coach in Alan Koch and double digit new faces on the roster this season was about tempered expectations and improvement.
A 1-0 win on Sunday afternoon at Clarke Stadium versus Forge FC (the 2-time League Champions) moved Edmonton past Ottawa in the league standings to finish 7th overall. Their final record shows 6 wins, 10 draws and 12 losses. The .571 percentage of games they earned points in sits as the new high in their 3-year tenure in the Canadian Premier League (CPL).
This is not a game review. This is the opportunity to express gratitude to a team that could have simply waved to the fans and walked off the pitch on what was a windy afternoon. After an entire season plus eight games of playing in a neutral site and multiple re-scheduled home games this year, what the Eddies players did post game was pure class.
Post game tradition at Clarke Stadium is the River Valley Vanguard (RVV), the Supporters Group, and many fans line up along the fence to clap the players off the field. In a show of mutual respect the players clap back but today they took it a step further. The players huddled in front of Supporters Section (section 107) and with defender Paris Gee leading the charge began chanting towards the fans. A fantastic moment!
Mere hours after the game Connor James announced his retirement via Instagram. For the Eddies tenure in the CPL, James has been their number one starting goalkeeper. He was the goaltender of record for the Club’s first ever victory in this league back on May 4, 2019 against Valour FC finishing that season as a nominee for goalkeeper of the year. Finishing this season with 24 appearances and in the top three for saves made, James will be missed by the fans and Club alike.