The man who spent more than $2 million to get to this day was thrilled with the first payoff on his investment.

“It was awesome,” said FC Edmonton owner Tom Fath. “Wow. That was fabulous. It was the most exciting game I’ve ever watched.

“But it’s not going to be the most exciting game I ever watch,” he said of his team winning its first North American Soccer League game, 2-1 over the Strikers in Fort Lauderdale Saturday evening.

Fath, who made his millions in the paving business, spent big bucks to underwrite setting up a soccer academy, putting his team together a year before beginning league play, hiring experienced top-level coaches from Holland and bringing in English and South American teams.

“You could see the value of the investment on the field. This is a professional team of young players who have had tremendous coaching,” said Fath, who watched the game with fans at a sports bar.

“Without playing last year, we couldn’t have put this team on the field like we did today. We needed that to set the stage. What happened today is more than a coincidence.

“What makes me feel best is that there were a lot of young Alberta players who were amateurs a year ago who were out there as the core of our club. That’s what this is really all about.”

Saturday, before 6,402 fans on a 26C night in Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, FC Edmonton was clearly the better side – and the football bets & odds reflected that.