FC Edmonton's Chris Kooy, John Smits, and Matt Lam modeling their new jerseys with owner Tom Fath. (Image by FC Edmonton)
Today, FC Edmonton borrowed Chris Kooy, Matt Lam, and John Smits to model their long-awaited 2012 jerseys, as well as present their even-longer-awaited 2012 stadium announcement.
The new FC Edmonton uniforms do, at least, get away from the white-and-blue colour scheme shared by the Montreal Impact and the Vancouver Whitecaps. Those black home kits look very distinctive; I'm also a fan of the 'keeper kit seen on the left. The chevron pointing at Chris Kooy's bellybutton on the black kit isn't great, but other than that I like this. FC Edmonton looks different, but still sharp. Not WSA Winnipeg sharp, but sharp.
The away whites, while hardly interesting enough to worry about, look fine. The collar's a nice touch.
As for the stadium announcement, I'm just relieved that it's not TELUS Field. Clarke Park was always the obvious choice, and happily it was also the correct one. Though the artificial field still has permanent Canadian football lines, in playing quality and in appearance it's a considerable improvement over their home last year at the University of Alberta. Clarke is also convenient by LRT and car, being right next door to Commonwealth Stadium.
FC Edmonton is planning to use Clarke's permanent grandstand and clubhouse on the west end of the stadium as general admission. The assigned seating section will be made up of new (presumably temporary) seating to be erected on the east side of the field. Additional general admission seating will be put up at the southwest and southeast corners, with a beer garden in tents on the south end zone.
It seems like a nice setup. Clarke Park's a pleasant, if basic, place to watch a football game and if Edmonton can't have a soccer-specific stadium it should be the next best thing. They haven't announced capacity yet; at a guess they'll be a bit under 5,000 (the permanent stand seats 1,200).
Voyageurs Cup and, if necessary, CONCACAF Champions League games will still be played at Commonwealth Stadium (capacity one billion), as Canadian Soccer Association and CONCACAF rules require fields with soccer lines only.
There's nothing spectacular about either the stadium or the kits. They're just simple and done right. I can live with that.