'This hits hard': Former FC Edmonton goalkeeper Dylon Powley killed in Edmonton motorcycle crash

“It’s caught everybody off guard. He’s way too young for something so tragic to happen. We’re at a loss for words”

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As a youth soccer coach, Allan Zebie is used to getting phone calls from parents asking questions about how their children are performing on the pitch. But on Friday his phone wouldn’t stop buzzing.

Many parents asked him for answers he didn’t have.

On Thursday night, Zebie learned his former FC Edmonton teammate Dylon Powley was killed in a south Edmonton motorcycle crash.

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After retiring in 2022 from professional soccer, Powley ran his own soccer goalkeeper academy and coached at several different levels, often mentoring many kids Zebie works with.

“I was getting a lot of calls asking me, ‘Is it true about Dylon?’ and I had to tell them the news. It’s heartbreaking,” said Zebie, who played alongside Powley with FC Edmonton in 2019.

“Then they’d ask me, ‘How am I going to break the news to my kids?’ I didn’t know what to say.”

Powley, 27, crashed his motorcycle after turning north on James Mowatt Trail at 41 Avenue SW. He struck a curb and lost control, police said, noting speed didn’t play a role in the crash.

He died on scene.

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Powley’s death marks the fourth motorcyclist death on Edmonton streets this month. According to the Edmonton Police Service, that equals as many year-to-date motorcycle fatalities as the previous four years combined.

‘Driven to be the best’

Days after his passing, Edmonton’s soccer community is in shock and mourning the loss of a man who, through his love and passion for soccer, made an incredible impact on those he came across in the sport.

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“It’s a big loss for our city and our soccer community. Dylon made such a positive impact on everyone he came across. This really hits hard,” Zebie said.

Before turning professional, Powley played semi-pro with Foothills FC in Calgary before taking his first professional steps playing for FC Gute in Sweden in 2018.

Upon retirement, he spent the better part of the last two seasons as an assistant coach with MacEwan University’s women’s soccer team. Powley played three seasons with the MacEwan men’s team from 2015-17, setting several program records during his tenure.

When he joined MacEwan’s women’s team coaching staff, he made an immediate impact on one of the top women’s programs in Canada.

“It’s caught everybody off guard. He’s way too young for something so tragic to happen. We’re at a loss for words. Dylon was loved by so many,” said MacEwan women’s head coach Dean Cordeiro.

“The soccer community is so small, and he touched so many in this community — as a coach, player, and most recently, a referee. There are many that are heartbroken by this news.”

Over the past year, he started refereeing and was tracking to become one of the top referees in the province.

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“Dylon was driven to be the best. There was nobody that was going to get in his way. He was tracking well in that field, and he was on the path of achieving some big things as a referee,” Cordeiro said.

Powley spent three years in the Canadian Premier League. After one season with FC Edmonton in 2019, he played the following two seasons with Atletico Ottawa in 2020 and 2021.

Moment of silence

His tragic loss has greatly impacted many across the league. There was a moment of silence before the anthem during Friday’s match between Cavalry FC and Atletico Ottawa in Calgary.

Former teammate Fraser Aird, who played with Powley with FC Edmonton in 2019, wore a black armband during the match to honour Powley.

A moment of silence is set to be held in two matches on Sunday — Vancouver FC and Halifax Wanderers, and Valour FC and Force FC in Hamilton.

Dylon Powley when he played for FC Edmonton back in 2019
Former FC Edmonton goalkeeper Dylan Powley was killed in a motorcycle crash on Thursday, June 20, 2024, at the age of 27. After retiring from pro soccer, Powley ran his own goalkeeper academy to coach kids, was an assistant coach with the MacEwan women’s soccer team and was also a high-level referee. Photo by Shaughn Butts /Postmedia

After Friday’s CanPL match between Cavalry FC and Atletico Ottawa, players and coaches spoke about Powley’s impact.

“Obviously, Dylon spent time here at Foothills and spent time with us in Ottawa as well,” said Atletico Ottawa goalkeeper Nathan Ingham.

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“Anyone who was close to him, I want you to know, there are a lot of people in my life who knew Dylon extremely well and he’s remembered really well.”

Powley played under Cavalry FC head coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. when they both were part of Foothills FC in 2016.

“I’m devastated for (his parents) Angela and Craig Powley,” Wheeldon Jr. said.

“Dylon was a wonderful human being. I had the pleasure of watching him play and competing against him, and he’s always kept in touch with a lot of our players. I know both sides were heartbroken by the news (Friday) and life is precious, so I’d like to send our love and condolences to the Powley family.”

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