When it was announced this week that FC Edmonton had joined the NASL and would begin play in 2011, many presumed there was a connection between the club and the Vancouver Whitecaps. Not so, at least not at present.
In an interesting interview at Inside Minnesota Soccer, Edmonton’s general manager Mel Kowalchuk reveals a few interesting things:
- There’s no connection between the club and the Whitecaps: “We made Vancouver an offer for their franchise when they were going to MLS. That’s as far as it went. There was some discussion with Vancouver which depended on where MLS went as well as Division II soccer went — that we could perhaps have some sort of relationship. But that’s as far as it ever went! I don’t know where all this (talk of a Vancouver partnership) came from and it keeps surfacing. It’s actually kind of caught us off guard because that wasn’t the deal and it never was the deal.”
- It looks like, also against what had widely been presumed, the team will not be called the Drillers, as Edmonton’s previous NASL team was: “I run an indoor league and one of teams are the “Drillers”. I could get the name from them any time I wanted, but our interest in that name is very mild right now. We grabbed the FC Edmonton name so we could have a legal entity but we may just keep it.”
Read the rest of the piece for some tidbits about the club’s plans, including a youth academy with apparent links to an unnamed club in South America, and their ambition to build a new stadium. Ambitious stuff.
- The future of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, previously based in New York state, has sort of been resolved : the facility in Oneonta will close, and some of the collections will go on permanent display at “other locations” around the country. Other archives will go to Wilmington, NC. Something of a blow to the heritage of the sport here, but a reasonable solution has been found for now by the trustees.
- Australia’s A-League is all-set for one hell of a game this weekend, as the Melbourne Victory head to Sydney just two points behind at the top of the table in the last round of action. Around 2,000 Victory fans are expected to make the 1,000km trek to Sydney.
- Oh, Sepp Blatter. Discussing John Terry, he said: “Listen, this is a special approach in the Anglo-Saxon countries. If this had happened in let’s say Latin countries then I think he would have been applauded.”
- Notts County have been purchased for the grand sum of one pound. More on this later.
The Sweeper appears every weekday, and once at the weekend. For more rambling and links throughout the day every day, follow your editor Tom Dunmore @pitchinvasion on Twitter.