Edmonton FC lands in PEI and makes their season debut
EDMONTON – The Oilers have left the NHL bubble while Edmonton FC have entered another one in Charlottetown, PEI, where the Canadian Premier League is hosting the Island Games / 2020 season. The league returns to the field on Thursday.
“The Eddies” arrived after players and staff were self-quarantined for two weeks before being subjected to further league tests for COVID-19 at the tournament.
“Am I a little concerned about getting the virus? I would say it’s always in the back of my mind,” said FCE goalkeeper Connor James.
Eight teams will take part in a 35-game season that ends in September.
Around 300 players, employees, officials and broadcast personnel will live in the CPL bubble. A system that worked well for other leagues like the MLS, NHL, and the NBA during the pandemic. In contrast to the situation in the MLB, where no teams had entered a hub and are dealing with a number of positive COVID results at several clubs. Put the season and life at risk.
“I’m definitely glad we’re getting into the bladder system because what happened in MLB is a little bit scary,” added James.
NO FANS. NO PRE-SEASON GAMES.
FCE will take off after training for the last five months. The team’s last game was on October 19, 2019. The Eddies will play seven games in 28 days in the first phase. The top four clubs appear in the second round before deciding the championship game.
Clubs won’t have the luxury of preseason games to shake off all rust.
“When the first whistle sounds, I can say with certainty that we will be mentally and physically ready,” said team captain Tomi Ameobi during a virtual media conference.
The wait is almost over for FCE as the club prepares for their first game of 2020 on Sunday 16 August. But head coach Jeff Paulus isn’t sure what to expect.
“The players were fantastic. They understand a new system. So I hope we look like we’ve been together for a while. I hope it doesn’t look what it might look like under the circumstances, so we will see, “Paul told CTV Edmonton News.
The Eddies are still looking for their very first championship title and start the tournament against Hamilton’s Forge FC.