It’s been a unique year for FC Edmonton goalkeepers this season, with all three keepers earning extended stretches as the club’s go-to between the pipes in 2017.
Winnipeg, MB product Tyson Farago is the latest Eddies’ keeper to get his chance in goal for FC Edmonton, becoming the third behind Chris Konopka and Nathan Ingham to get a consistent run of at least four matches.
Veteran keeper Konopka started the season before the introduction of Nathan Ingham, who made the most of his opportunity back in June with a win and NASL Team of the Week nomination in his first start against the New York Cosmos. However, Ingham was forced off the field in a home match on July 7 versus North Carolina FC after a collision outside the box with former Eddie Lance Laing. Farago stepped in for his first appearance as a substitute for the injured Ingham and the 26-year-old has held on to the starting spot ever since.
“It’s great to get in there and play with the lads and get some results as well,” Farago said. “The guys are out there grinding and it’s great to be a part of. [The goalkeepers] definitely have to have a professional attitude towards [the competition] and come ready to put in the work and get ready for the games. You really have to be prepared for the opposition.”
Farago has been able to work with goalkeeper coach Darren Woloshen for the past few seasons and is grateful for the support that Woloshen has shown him over the years. It hasn’t always been easy for Farago, who had to be patient for his chance at the number-one role for the Eddies, but with patience and a coach like Woloshen around him on a regular basis Farago was able to secure his chance.
“He’s been a great influence on me,” Farago said. “He’s really helped evolve my game and I take a lot of his pointers and continue to apply it in every game and training session.”
Despite the tight competition for minutes, the goalkeeper union is still very supportive of one another. Goalkeepers have a special bond despite having such tight competition for a starting spot. As keepers, you don’t see much time off the bench and it’s very rare a goalkeeper will substitute the other during the game, so it’s either you start or you don’t play at all.
“We really push each other hard at practices,” Farago said. “We have a very competitive nature and we push each other a lot to get better as goalkeepers because that’s what we want. But we always stand behind one another at the end of the day.”
Woloshen has worked with several goalkeepers since he joined head coach Colin Miller’s coaching staff at FC Edmonton, working with two NASL Golden Glove winners in Matt VanOekel and Jon Smits, who both had very impressive seasons with the Eddies in recent years. Woloshen admits it’s a pretty unique situation to have all three goalkeepers get a consistent run of games during a season, also expressing his joy at the continuous development of Farago.
“Tyson has been good and he learning the game, which takes time as a keeper. He’s gotten way better at making decisions on all aspects of the game which has been a huge improvement for him as well. It takes time to see and learn all the situations in the game. Some of the best keepers in the world are in their early thirties to mid thirties”
“They are all eager and keen to learn the game and hone their skills and get better as keepers,” Woloshen said. “It’s been a lot of fun for me this year in regards to these guys wanting to train hard and be the best they can. The competition is good and can be tense at times, but that lends to a better training session and it’s fun for me to see it.”