Kareem Moses certainly endeared himself to the fans at Clarke Stadium during his first stint with FC Edmonton thanks to his celebratory post-game dances, but it was the city which left a giant impression on him.
“It’s an emotional question,” said Moses, when asked what it meant to come back and play for FC Edmonton. “Edmonton means everything to me.”
“I just don’t love the city; I am in love with it. Sometimes, when people ask where I’m from, I still say ‘Edmonton.’”
The defender was a member of the Eddies in 2014 and 2015 – his first football experience outside of his native Trinidad and Tobago. Moses made 53 appearances in all competitions, scoring twice.
“I learned everything I needed to know about North America from the club and the city,” said Moses.
After a stint with North Carolina FC, Moses headed to Europe for the first time, playing for FF Jaro in the Finnish second division, where he scored three goals in 23 appearances.
“My experiences in Finland were really eye-opening,” Moses claimed. “To be able to get a taste of the European style was amazing, and I enjoyed every minute of it.”
Moses says he and FC Edmonton Head Coach and Director of Soccer Operations Jeff Paulus stayed in touch following his departure from the club, with the player occasionally seeking advice from his former coach. When Paulus reached out following the re-launch of FC Edmonton, Moses said he didn’t even think twice about returning.
“I told him I wasn’t sure about my plans for 2019, but I wanted to be closer to friends and family,” recalled Moses of their conversation. “Jeff asked if I wanted to come back and play with FC Edmonton, and I said ‘where do I sign?’”
A little older and a little wiser this time around, Moses will be looked upon as a leader in his second stint with the Eddies. It’s a role the 28-year-old relishes.
“I love sharing my knowledge with younger players, whether it’s after a practice or during games,” explained Moses. “I am a very vocal player, I love to organize and I ask a lot of my teammates.”
“He’s a veteran player who is a great locker room guy, and we want to get our chemistry right,” Paulus said. “Every single player that has been brought into this program has been brought in with that in mind.”
While still in Trinidad, Moses is anticipating his return to Edmonton ahead of training camp in March, adding he’d like to make the Alberta capital his forever home.
“I’m looking forward to reconnecting with the fans, building more relationships, and bringing a championship home to my city,” said Moses.