FC Edmonton adds midfielder Gonzalez on loan for 2021 season

FC Edmonton announced on Wednesday that the club has acquired American midfielder Azriel Gonzalez on loan from USL Championship outfit Tacoma Defiance for the remainder of the 2021 Canadian Premier League season.

Gonzalez is a 20-year-old native of Las Vegas, Nevada, who came through the youth academy system of MLS side Seattle Sounders FC. The 5’9″ wide player has 69 career appearances already at the USL level — all of them for Tacoma Defiance (or Sounders FC 2, as they were previously known), including eight already in the 2021 season for Tacoma (with one goal and two assists to his name). Gonzalez has 10 professional goals and 10 assists to his name since making his debut in 2017. He has been described as a talented attacking midfielder or winger with creative instincts and a strong ability on the ball.

At the international level, Gonzalez has previously represented the United States’ U-16 team at tournaments in France and Japan.

“Azriel is an excellent young player who has shown significant growth within the Seattle Sounders organization,” commented FC Edmonton coach Alan Koch. “We are excited to expose him to a new environment and to help him in his development to push him to even higher levels, and we expect him to have a significant impact as an Eddie this season.”

Gonzalez’s coach with Tacoma, Wade Webber, added that he’s interested in seeing the young player embrace a new environment at the CPL level with FCE.

“All of us on the developmental side of the club are excited for Azriel to have an opportunity to challenge himself and expand his range of experience in Edmonton,” said Webber. “This is an important step for his career because he is moving away from what is comfortable and attacking the unknown. We are confident he can grow from this experience.”

The Eddies will be hoping Gonzalez can help add to their depth and attacking firepower for the remainder of the CPL season, which they will continue this Thursday, August 12 at home against Valour FC (9 pm ET/7 pm MT, live on OneSoccer).