Whatever FC Edmonton’s flaws, they haven’t been evident against Pacific FC.
FC Edmonton’s overall season performance has the club mathematically eliminated in the Canadian Premier League playoff race. But that hasn’t stopped the Eddies from bedevilling second-place Pacific FC this season with a win, loss and two draws against the Tridents in four meetings. The fifth and final encounter between the teams based in the capitals of neighbouring provinces occurs tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Starlight Stadium.
“They have done OK against us,” acknowledged PFC head coach Pa-Modou Kah.
“We have not taken our chances against them and have caused ourselves the problems.”
While the Eddies (5-10-7) are playing only for pride tonight, and personally for roster spots looking ahead to next season, the Tridents (12-7-6) have all to play for in terms of playoff seeding. Second-place PFC trails leading Cavalry FC of Calgary by two points with each team having three regular-season games remaining. PFC is only one point ahead of third-place Forge FC of Hamilton, Ont., which retains two games in hand on both Cavalry and PFC. At stake is home-field advantage for the playoff semifinals Nov. 20-21 and league final Nov. 27.
So, PFC will need results as it closes out the home portion of its regular season tonight against the Eddies and Saturday against York United before what could be a critical regular season-closing away game Nov. 7 in Calgary. (Sandwiched in-between is PFC’s Canadian Championship semi-final fixture against Toronto FC of Major League Soccer on Nov. 3 at BMO Field).
“We all want to play at home in the playoffs but it doesn’t matter where you play home or away you [still have to win],” said Kah.
“What we most want to do right now is to finish our last two home games [tonight] and Saturday on high notes for our fans who have been so supportive all year.”
First up is FC Edmonton and its dangerous attacking duo of Easton Ongaro, second in the CPL with 11 goals, and Tobias Warschewski, the CPL assists leader with seven. At six-foot-six, Ongaro hasn’t been hard for former Germany U-19 player and Dortmund prospect Warschewski to find in the box. You don’t have to tell PFC as Ongaro has scored in all four previous games against the Tridents this season. Kah has described Ongaro as a “fox in the box.”
CORNER KICKS: FC Edmonton bench boss Alan Koch was head coach of FC Cincinnati in MLS with Kah as his assistant coach … Three former PFC players – Ben Fisk of Cavalry FC, Zach Verhoven of Atletico Ottawa and Noah Verhoeven of York United – were named to the CPL team of the week.