For a soccer club facing ongoing uncertainty off the pitch, FC Edmonton‘s players appear to be earning trust when on the field with their never-say-die attitude.
On Friday night, the team mounted its second-straight comeback in the young Canadian Premier League season thanks to a strike by Masta Kacher. He got the equalizer for the Eddies in the 84th minute after being set up in the box with a pass from forward Courtney Smith.
The goal was enough to secure a 1-1 draw with York United FC. With two draws in two games, FC Edmonton has yet to lose this season.
“It could have been me, it could have been someone else,” Kacher told Global News at practice on Wednesday, noting he though the club earned the draw. “Now the next step is to try to get a win.”
“(I’m) very happy to see him be rewarded with a goal because he works incredibly hard at training every single day to set himself up for success in moments like that,” FC Edmonton coach Alan Koch said.
Kacher, who is listed as a midfielder on the club’s website, signed with the Eddies in February. He is no stranger to the CPL, having spent the past two seasons with Valour FC.
Despite only being 26, Kacher is finding his way when it comes to learning to provide veteran leadership on a rather young team.
“We expect him to show leadership and he shows it for us every single day,” Koch said.
“It’s kind of new for me because I was mostly one of the younger guys on my older teams, but I embrace it,” Kacher said.
“It’s a challenge for me and it’s something that I’m learning every day — to help the younger guys.”
Kacher said while the team’s first two games have featured “positive performances,” he and his teammates want to see that result in more wins.
“We know when we have success we worked super hard,” he said.
FC Edmonton is preparing for its first road match of the season against the perennially strong Forge FC in Hamilton on Saturday. With their impressive start, the Eddies are actually one point ahead of Forge FC in the CPL standings.
Koch said he does not believe many people in the league would have imagined the Eddies would play its first two games without a loss, especially as the team continues to look for new ownership and relies on other clubs to help pay its bills in the meantime, impacting the roster it can field.
FC Edmonton prepares for season opener amid tumultuous time for soccer club
“(With) the reality of our situation, the reality of our budget and all the constraints on us, every singe point is a celebration,” he said.
“To come from behind in those first two games and get those points, there’s an element of happiness and satisfaction for what we’re doing. Having said that we’re hungry for more.”
Koch said for his team to have success this weekend, he is looking for players to continue to play their best for an entire 90 minutes per match, and to “make sure we control the game in the middle of the pitch.”
“We know when we have success we worked super hard,” Kacher said, echoing his coach’s thoughts on playing well for the entirety of a match.
“It’s been a tough time for the club and for the city as well. It’s a big soccer community over here… (but) to be honest, when I step on the field, it just doesn’t matter.”
Kacher added his first impressions of Alberta’s capital in the brief time he’s been here is that Edmonton is “a beautiful city.”
“We just need a bit more warm weather,” he joked, after Wednesday’s practice was forced to take place inside because of a recent snowfall.
“Whatever gets thrown at us we’re just going to deal with it, because we don’t have a choice,” Koch said, adding that he’s impressed with the morale on his team.
“You can feel the energy in the group. The guys are excited to be here.”
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