FC Edmonton will be missing several players due to international duty and injury when the North American Soccer League (NASL) Fall Season kicks off on Sunday, July 5. The vacancies in the roster include up front and Eddies forward Sadi Jalali understands that this could be his chance to showcase what he can do on the pitch.
“I just want to keep working hard and prove to the coach that he can trust me and continue to believe in me,” Jalali explained. “I want to show that when the shirt goes on and I cross that white line, I will do anything for the team.”
Jalali grew up playing soccer in Edmonton from a young age. The striker played his youth soccer with Juventus Soccer Club of Edmonton. His team won the City Championships, provincial championships, and even a national championship. After impressing at the youth level, Jalali received a call-up to the Canadian U-17 national team.
“The national team helped me a lot. It helped me become a better professional and matured me not only as a player but as a person,” Jalali added. “It opened a lot of doors for me to go to clubs all over the world and in Canada as well.”
Jalali represented Canada at the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship and he marked his debut with a goal against Barbados. Jalali would go on to represent Canada in the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup, scoring a goal against a strong England side that featured English Premier League players Raheem Sterling, Nathaniel Powell, Nathan Redmond and Nathaniel Chalobah.
“It was the greatest feeling for me to score for my country at the big stage and it’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” Jalili recalled. “I remember going at it with Chalobah, we both went up in the air to head Roberts clearance, we missed it and it ended up going in the [England} net. He came up to me after the game and we shook hands and said good game to each other.”
Jalali signed for the Eddies in 2013 and he has gone on to make 20 appearances for the club. FC Edmonton head coach Colin Miller knows he can rely on Jalali to step-up to the plate when needed.
“Sadi has done really well in pre-season to get his fitness levels back up,” Miller stated. “He will play on Sunday which is excellent, it’s a reward for what he has done in training and his terrific attitude.” “He was one that was left out last season because the team were playing very well attacking wise, but he has responded very well to that and I am excited to see what he does on Sunday.”