FC Edmonton makes South Korean midfielder its first international signing

EDMONTON — FC Edmonton has made South Korean midfielder Son Yongchan its first international signing.

Son played most recently for Ozone FC, an Indian second-tier club. He was with Tampines Rovers FC of the Singapore Premier League in 2017 and Ceres, a top-flight team in the Philippines, from 2014 through 2016.

FC Edmonton and the Canadian Premier League kick off their inaugural season in April.

Son, 27, impressed during the CPL’s trials in Toronto.

“In Son, we are getting, in my opinion, the best player from the open trials, and someone wanted by every manager in the league,” Jeff Paulus, FC Edmonton’s head coach and director of soccer operations, said in a statement. “He has a good background playing in Asia, and is the fittest player I have ever seen.

“Son plays at a pace we don’t often see in North America, and I’m certain he will quickly become a fan favourite in Edmonton.”

Son said he was “ecstatic” to be playing in the CPL.

“As an international player, I feel I have a responsibility to play at the high level expected of me,” he said in a statement.

The CPL team also announced the signings of three graduates from the FC Edmonton academy: Bruno Zebie, Ajeej Sarkaria and Ajay Khabra.

Zebie, the younger brother of Eddies midfielder Allan Zebie, signed a first team contract with FC Edmonton prior to joining the University of Alberta. The midfielder made a couple of substitute appearances with the first team during the North American Soccer League days.

“This is a proud moment for me,” Zebie said. “Being able to play in the city I call home with guys I grew up playing and developing with means the world to me.”

Sarkaria, a forward who was Edmonton’s second-round draft pick (eighth overall) in the CPL-U Sports draft in November, leaves the University of Alberta as the Canada West all-time leader in points.

Khabra, a midfielder, played five seasons with the Alberta Golden Bears.

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