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Previewing the competition for 2015: FC Edmonton

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

It was a tale of two seasons for FC Edmonton in 2014. During the nine-game spring season, we saw the club that most were expecting, with an anemic offense that led the club to taking just eight points. In the fall, however, the offense started to click, and the Eddies made a serious push for the postseason, falling just short of the fall season title despite the woeful spring.

In the middle of all that, the Eddies had a bit of success in the Canadian Championship. They managed to knock out the Ottawa Fury in the competition's first round, before bowing out to the eventual winner, the Montreal Impact of MLS.

The big key to the second half turnaround was the play of Lance Laing and Tomi Ameobi, both of whom started putting chances in the back of the net. Laing actually showed enough both scoring and setting up others that he was named to the NASL Best XI, making him the only player honored that wasn't involved in the playoffs.

This winter, coach Colin Miller seemed content with the second half performance, and opted to keep the bulk of his squad intact. The only addition that generated any buzz  at all was goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel from Minnesota United, and given that John Smits is still with the club, it's questionable if that's more than a marginal upgrade.

Notable additions: Tomas Granitto (FC Dallas), Sainey Nyassi (Rovaniemen Palloseura),  Óskar Örn Hauksson (KR Reykjavik), Johann Smith (Cumberland United), Matt Van Oekel (Minnesota United FC)

Key departures: Neil Hlavaty (Carolina RailHawks)

2015 outlook: FC Edmonton are largely unchanged from last season's squad, and that could be either a good thing or terrible, depending on what you make of their second half surge. Personally, I'm not sold that the fall campaign was anything but an unsustainable run of fantastic form, so I firmly expect to see the Eddies finish on or near the bottom of the NASL table.