Although they play in different divisions, there is plenty of familiar ground between FC Edmonton and Vancouver Whitecaps FC, who meet in the first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship semi finals at 7.45pm on Wednesday at Commonwealth Stadium.
Starting right at the top, Eddies coach Colin Miller spent some time at the Whitecaps as their assistant coach. Players Wes Knight, Antonio Rago, Sadi Jalali and Chris Nurse all have connection to the west coast side from playing with the residency or the first team, to personal, life-long friendships. The clubs may be unfamiliar opposition, but the players will certainly not be strangers.
The Eddies’ solid centre back Carlyle Mitchell is on loan from the ‘Caps this season and will be ineligible to play against his parent team over both legs of the Championship.
FC Edmonton have been preparing for this match ever since Miller took over the reins of the first team.
“This is a massive match, not only for me and the players that have connections to the Whitecaps, but for the club and the city as well,” Miller said. “I know they’re coming to win and put the match away early, but we’ll be ready for them as well. It should be a great game.”
Although the team’s form has improved over the past year, the Eddies are still searching for a win in the NASL regular season after the first three games on the road. They look to find their feet in the home opener vs. the San Antonio Scorpions on April 28.
The Whitecaps are searching for the Amway Canadian Championship title for the third year in a row. Having been beaten out by Toronto FC in past finals, the ‘Caps are keen to take the title this year.
With both teams losing 2-0 over the weekend - FC Edmonton to Minnesota United FC and the Whitecaps to FC Dallas - they will be looking for a chance to bounce back.
Fans not attending the game can watch live on Sportsnet West, East, Ontario and Pacific.
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