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FC Edmonton prep for Newcastle United test after loss to Burnley

We recap a 2-1 loss for the Eddies on Tuesday against a highly-skilled Burnley FC U-23 side as the club begins the second half of its preseason tour of Manchester against Newcastle United U-23’s on Friday.
Jamie Umbach (@JamieUmbach) | Mar 16, 2017

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND — A great goal from FC Edmonton midfielder Dustin Corea in the final minute pulled them back into the match, but ultimately the Eddies couldn’t find the equalizer as the club dropped a 2-1 defeat to a skilled Burnley FC U-23 side on Tuesday, Mar. 14. Friday’s clash with Newcastle United U-23’s is next on the cards for the Eddies as they begin the second half of their preseason tour of Manchester.

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Quality Opposition

Burnley lined up a senior side that included as many as nine players with senior experience playing in England, including Belgian international midfielder Steven Defour and Wales international striker Sam Vokes, who’s scored five goals in 28 appearances for the Clarets in the Premier League this 2016/17 season.

“As soon as I heard of the quality of opposition that Burnley were going to put out I was rubbing my hands because I thought it would be fantastic for our players to play against that amount of quality Premier League players,” FC Edmonton head coach Colin Miller said. “It was quite a privilege to be playing against that calibre of opposition. Thank you to Burnley FC for their hospitality and providing such tremendous competition for FC Edmonton.”

Both sides used Tuesday’s match as an extra boost to fitness and conditioning with the Clarets preparing multiple first-team players for a weekend clash with Sunderland in the Premier League while the Eddies enter their second week of preseason in Manchester. Having such a high-quality, highly-contested preseason match against players of Premier League quality gave FC Edmonton a glimpse of the standard expected when the club begins its North American Soccer League (NASL) campaign in Jacksonville on Mar. 25.

“When you look at what [Burnley] offered on the pitch, I think it was a fantastic exercise for the Eddies,” Miller commented. “Everything we do here [in Manchester] is for preparing the players for that first match of the season against Jacksonville. We have to have the same mindset that we had [Tuesday] when we start the year in Florida.”

Match Breakdown

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A brilliant goal from FC Edmonton midfielder Dustin Corea off a Burnley defensive error in the last minute gave the Eddies late consolation after academy winger Dwight McNeil and striker Dan Agyei had given Burnley breathing room.

Burnley held the majority of possession in the first half and had the lead on 20 minutes when McNeil’s in-swinging corner found the back of the net for the 1-0 lead. Then after coming on as a first-half substitute, Eddies goalkeeper Nathan Ingham was forced to make a big one-on-one save when Agyei was was put through by midfielder Steven Defour.

FC Edmonton began to find its feet in the second half and came close to an equalizer when midfielder Ben Fisk’s low cross from the left made its way to the foot of Jake Keegan, but the shot went high and over the crossbar and Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope.

The Clarets doubled their lead in the 80th minute when Wales international Sam Vokes forced a FC Edmonton error in defense, leaving Agyei alone to place his shot into the empty net. But the Eddies did find a way back through Corea when full-back Jon Flanagan’s pass went wayward and led to the El Salvador international cutting inside at the top of the box and firing a left-footed strike into the left-hand side of the net to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Corea’s goal would be the only consolation for FC Edmonton as they dropped the decision 2-1 to a highly-experienced Burnley side.

“Anytime you play at this level of the game, the opposition will punish you if you make mistakes. That was proven twice against us,” Miller commented. “We gave them a bit too much room to begin with, but as the game wore on a bit the belief began to show up in the team. We started to compete harder and allowed them very few opportunities.”

Preview to Newcastle

FC Edmonton’s preseason in Manchester hits its midway point when the team travels north to face Newcastle United this Friday, Mar. 16. The Eddies have familiarity with Newcastle from when the Eddies visited Scotland and Newcastle last preseason, drawing the Magpies 2-2.

“We have a different type of group this year, more experienced, and I’m thinking we’re further ahead at this point than we were last year,” Miller said. “We have to move forward now and prepare for Newcastle as it is again a very difficult opponent.”

“The fitness level and the attitude from the players through the first two matches has been terrific. There’s very serious competition for places from the goalkeeper position all the way through to centre-forward.”

FC Edmonton kicks off their 2017 NASL campaign, April 2! Home opener Saturday, April 8 at Clarke Stadium. For tickets and more information visit the FC Edmonton Fan Shop on Whyte Avenue, click HERE, call 780.700.2600 or visit www.fcedmonton.com/claimyourthrone.

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