Pitchside: FC Edmonton Intra-Squad

Willoughby Community Park in Langley served as FC Edmonton's base of operations on this preseason trip, and so it was fitting that it ended there with an Intra-Squad match.

The Rabbits easily dispatched the neighbouring Trinity Western Spartans 3-0, Simon Fraser Clan 3-1, and the Fraser Valley Mariners FC 4-0. The British Columbia Thunderbirds proved a sterner test, earning a 1-1 draw, and Vancouver Whitecaps FC continued their perfect record against Edmonton with a 4-2 win.

Now, Edmonton must look towards Matchday One when they visit the Tampa Bay Rowdies on April 12th.

After playing five matches in 14 days, the Rabbits had picked up some injuries and wanted to rest some players. Albert Watson, the captain, did not take any part.

Gagandeep Dosanjh watched from the sidelines as he continues to recover, while Lance Laing, Ritchie Jones, Neil Hlavaty, and Eddie Edward saw no part in the match.

 Tyson Farago after being on the receiving end of Horace James' right boot at Willoughby Community Park on 4 March 2014.

Tyson Farago after being on the receiving end of Horace James' right boot at Willoughby Community Park on 4 March 2014.

Lance Parker was not expected to play, but after an injury to Tyson Farago when Horace James chased the ball into the box, he had to come in.

The change was so unexpected that goalkeeping coach Darren Woloshen had to come in while Parker went looking for his gloves.

Early in the match, the two lineups traded goals by Hanson Boakai and Frank Jonke, before Tomi Ameobi bagged a goal either side of halftime.

One player remarked that he was "a beast" or at least that's the part that we can report. This is a family site, after all.

Youth can be a boon. It provides energy, athleticism, and effort, but it can also come with some petulance, especially when things don't go ones way.

With such a young line up, the Rabbits will have to rely on their veteran leadership to deal with these things. One player in particular received some very good advice about how to handle himself on the pitch, saying that "you're going to need us when they start kicking you, and we'll be there to protect you" before referencing some specifics that we won't go into, "but if you keep that up, we'll just let them."

Clearly, there is still room for improvement, but that's what these trips are for: to find out where you are, to learn, and to improve.

With the imbalanced schedule, Edmonton have nine matches to earn a spot in the Soccer Bowl Semi-Final. The rest of the league is thinking the same thing, but with this year's squad, we believe they have the best chance they've had in their five-year history.