NASL Notes: Edmonton Nabs Canadian Int’l, Fury Extend Star Defender’s Contract, more

IMAGE, SPORTSNET.CA

by JAKE NUTTING

FC Edmonton announced on Tuesday that it has secured the services of longtime Canadian international and Alberta-native Nik Ledgerwood for the 2016 season. Since debuting for the Canadian national team in 2007, Ledgerwood has made 45 appearances for his country across several competitions.

Ledgerwood, 30, has spent the better part of his 13-year career abroad, playing for a handful of teams at various levels in Germany. He has played for 1860 Munchen, FSV Frankfurt, Wehen Wiesbaden, Hammarby and MSV Duisburg. He made 25 appearances in his most recent stop at Energie Cottbus during the 2014-2015 season.

The Canadian international is a defensive-minded player that has spent time both in midfield and at right back. Eddies head coach Colin Miller specifically noted that he hopes Ledgerwood will bring sturdiness to the center of their midfield for them.

Ottawa Fury FC Lock in Top Performers

The Fall Season winner Ottawa Fury FC announced extensions to the contracts of center back Rafael Alves and forward Paulo Junior. No details on the length of the extensions were given by the club.

Alves, 30, proved himself as a key offseason pick in his first year with Ottawa, starting in every match of both the regular season and The Championship. The Brazilian’s stout efforts in central defense helped establish Ottawa’s back line as the best in the NASL, conceding only 23 goals through 30 regular season games. Alves’ stellar showing earned him NASL Best XI honors.

Paulo Junior, 26, took longer to catch on in his transition to Ottawa, but his output in the fall helped propel the club to the Fall Season title by a significant margin. The attacker tallied four goals and three assists through 18 Fall Season appearances.

Fury FC also revealed that it has picked up former New York Red Bull and Northern Ireland International Jonny Steele. The midfielder made a handful of starts for Minnesota United FC in the 2015 Spring Season before being released by the club in July due to poor performance and reported personality clashes. Steele, 31, also spent time in Tampa Bay during the 2010 season when new Ottawa head coach Paul Dalglish was in charge of the club.

Indy Eleven Adds Experienced MLS Defender

A day after announcing that he was leaving his post as Indy Eleven club president, Peter Wilt proved that he still has some work left to do in Indy as consulting general manager in the lead up to the Spring Season.

Wilt revealed that Indy’s latest addition is former Chicago Fire defender, Lovel Palmer.

A Jamaican international with 25 caps under his belt, Palmer started his career with Harbour View FC in his home country. After five seasons in Jamaica, Palmer moved on to the Houston Dynamo in MLS in 2010. Palmer, 31, has accrued 148 appearances through six seasons in MLS, with stops at Houston, Portland, Real Salt Lake and Chicago. He started 20 games of 22 total appearances for the Fire in his final season with the club.