In a couple of weeks time, Shamit Shome will do what he’s done thousands of times before — put on his cleats and walk onto an Edmonton soccer field.
But this time will be different. He will be doing it wearing the deep red of Cavalry FC, Calgary’s entry into the Canadian Premier League, and former provincial rival of FC Edmonton, which folded before the 2023 season.
Now that FC Edmonton is gone, Cavalry has been granted the right by Alberta Soccer to basically be Alberta’s team. It can promote itself throughout the province. It can develop partnerships — if it so chooses — with amateur clubs across Alberta. There are no Edmonton-Calgary lines anymore.
Just imagine, if you will, that the Oilers went out of business and the Flames officially became Alberta’s team.
That process begins Aug. 23-25 at Campus Saint-Jean. On day one, the Cavs will hold a full training session starting at noon, and then will have camps for kids over the duration of the trip.
For Shome, a University of Alberta product who made 80 appearances for FC Edmonton in North American Soccer League and CanPL games, and also played 52 games in Major League Soccer with the then-called Montreal Impact, this homecoming will be a little bit, odd.
“It will be kind of weird being here and being in Cavalry colours,” he said. “But this will give some kids in Edmonton some opportunities that they should have had with a pro team in the city.”
And Shome says that, even though Cavalry and the Eddies were rivals on the field, the players there want to see an Edmonton team return sooner rather than later.