When the final whistle blows at Clarke Field, there is only one place FC Edmonton defender Kareem Moses can be found. After each and every home match – whether it’s a win or loss for the Eddies – the defender from Trinidad and Tobago who is in his second year with the club, heads toward the Edmonton Supporters Group.
Moses knows the importance of that connection, between player and fan, and the impact it can have on the field, even when the game isn’t going the Eddies’ way.
“That’s what soccer is about,” Moses told NASL.com. “It’s a passionate sport and just knowing that when you’re having a bad day or you’re down, there’s people that support you is a great feeling.
“Words cannot explain it when you look into the stands when things may not be going your way and they’re chanting your name and still believe in you. It gives you something to say, ‘Maybe it’s not my day, but I have to do it for these people.’ ”
The bond he has formed with the Clarke Field faithful continues to grow, and the effort to interact and build a relationship with supporters' groups is something Moses has tried to do throughout his career.
“It’s something that I always loved,” he said. “It’s something that I always looked at, even when I watch soccer – win, lose, or draw they’re getting support from the supporters. It’s something I love doing, I love seeing the smiles on the supporters’ faces. They could be doing anything else, but they decided to come out and give us support, so I show them some love. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing.”
So it was only fitting that there would be only one suitable way to celebrate when Moses scored against the Atlanta Silverbacks in a 4-2 win in the Spring Season.
“When I scored, I had to go to them,” he said. “I just had to jump into the stands and feel the atmosphere.”
As much as the 25-year-old appreciates the support coming from the home crowd, they’ve enjoyed the time he takes to go over to wave or to chant or, at the end of the recent 3-0 win against the Carolina RailHawks, wave a flag and pump his fists.
“I think they look forward to it after the whistle,” Moses said. “They look for me and start chanting my name and I come over. Now, I’m having other guys come over and do it.”
He added: “They introduced the flag, and they have a dance. They have a dance for me – I don’t know who made it up – but they have a dance for me. I love going to Section 107 and chanting with them.”
The Eddies have won their last two matches at home and five of eight overall in 2015 with two draws and three losses. Visiting Clarke Field has never been an easy task, and Moses believes it’s because of the support.
“I think those fans have a lot to do with our form at home,” said Moses, who has noticed a bigger soccer culture growing in the city.
“Edmonton is changing a lot in the city and getting more fans encourages us to come out and give them something – a victory, goals, and good plays,” he said. “We just want to entertain them to change soccer within Canada and Edmonton. Knowing these guys come out every Wednesday or Sunday motivates us more, so they have an important part to play.”
And Moses will continue to give back to that support by meeting, chanting, and even dancing with the supporters after each and every home match.