On Friday morning, FC Edmonton announced that Oskar Hauksson has been released by the club. The news comes as a bit of a shock as the Icelandic midfielder came to Edmonton with a lot of hype from the coaching staff. While training in Edmonton, both Colin Miller and Jeff Paulus envisioned him as a player that could help produce from the wings and also play as a number 10 when needed. As the season started, Hauksson found himself on the bench, which was to be expected. European players with no North American experience typically have troubles adjusting to the travel, weather and athleticism that NASL and MLS has to offer. We saw this over the last few seasons with Fordyce, Jones and Ameobi. It took about half a season for each of the above players to assert themselves before they made a difference. It was apparent that Hauksson did not want to wait that long and at his age, we wanted to be a regular starter as he was in his native Iceland. As hindsight is always 20/20, you can look back to Wednesdays match against Ottawa and see that he was falling out of favour with Miller. Hauksson wasn’t even picked to make the trip to the nation’s capital.
What this means for Hauksson – he gets to return to the team that loaned him out, KR Reykjavik, prior to the beginning of their season on May 4. He should be a welcomed addition back to the club given that he started nearly every game for them last season. Although he has only played 18 minutes with FC Edmonton, Hauksson should probably be in great shape to start the season.
What this means for FC Edmonton – Colin Miller has had a great track record in finding players, but this will be his most forgettable one. At the time of signing the loan deal, the right wing was empty and there was a push to try to find a difference maker that could potentially match MVP Lance Laing on the left. Since then, Miller has added depth to the wings with Sainey Nyassi and Johann Smith. Nyassi has since claimed the right wing and so far is probably the best as his position in the league. Johann Smith has more versatility and may be able to play fullback (although after the season opener, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that). With Canadian Nonni on the bench as well, there was just no spot for a player like Hauksson on this roster. It became a numbers game, and a very deep and talented midfield forced this move. The good news is that this opens up an extremely valuable international spot that could be used to help bolster the defensive part of FC Edmonton’s game. The team could dearly use a quality centreback now. Roberts still looks a bit off from being a regular starter and Watson appears to be nursing an injury. The only other natural CB option is Marko Aleksik who is still only 18. Another option could be to get a solid holding midfielder as well. Granitto looked amazing against Fort Lauderdale but seemed to come back down to earth against Ottawa. As for Raudales, I believe we have already seen his ceiling. We will probably have to wait to see what, if anything, this team does about the newly gained international spot though. The season is still early and only now is the dust starting to settle.
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Photo courtesy of FC Edmonton.