Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
A move to go directly to Caribbean source
by Paul Kennedy, November 14th, 2013 11:11PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  college men, mls

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Up until now, most of the Caribbean players who have starred in MLS have almost without exception come via the U.S. college ranks.  They were already residing in the United States (like Shalrie Joseph and Ezra Hendrickson) or first came for boarding school (Shavar Thomas) or recruited to play college soccer (Stern John and Andy Williams). Now MLS will go directly to the source with the launch of the first Caribbean player combine in January.

Our MLS Caribbean Best XI:
Goalkeeper:
Donovan Ricketts
(Jamaica)
Defenders:
*Ezra Hendrickson (St. Vincent & Grenadines)
*Tyrone Marshall (Jamaica)
*Shavar Thomas (Jamaica)
Midfielders:
Osvaldo Alonso (Cuba)
*Shalrie Joseph (Grenada)
*Dane Richards (Jamaica)
*Andy Williams (Jamaica)
Forwards:
*Omar Cummings (Jamaica)
*Wolde Harris (Jamaica)
*Stern John (Trinidad & Tobago)
*U.S. college players.

MLS will host the event Jan. 2-4 at the Antigua Recreation Grounds in St. John’s, Antigua, in partnership with the Caribbean Football Union for players 18-21 from around the Caribbean.

MLS scouts will evaluate the players, and the best will receive invitations to the annual adidas MLS Player Combine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., later in January.

The combine will allow MLS to enlarge its talent pool for the SuperDraft, which is being diluted by more and more players signing homegrown contracts outside the draft, and give Caribbean national teams opportunities for their best players.

Concacaf has been working with Caribbean nations to improve their sagging national team programs. Only Jamaica reached the 2013 Hexagonal and it finished last without a win in 10 games. A pan-Caribbean league is being explored, but an MLS combine would be another incentive for Caribbean players to raise their level of play.

Combines are nothing new to the Caribbean. College coaches are often invited to come to the region, and players are assembled for a look-see. Programs all the way down to the JC level -- Dane Richards (San Jacinto), Stern John (Mercer County) and Omar Cummings (Cincinnati State) were all JC stars -- recruit in the Caribbean.

Caribbean players have played a key in college soccer for more than half a century. Michigan State was the first program to develop a pipeline, recruiting Jamaicans like Cecil Heron from Detroit and Trevor Harris (father of Wolde Harris) and Tony Keyes from Kingston College in the 1950s and 1960s.

Top rookies the last two years include a pair of Jamaican forwards: Darren Mattocks, who attended Akron, and Deshorn Brown from UCF via NAIA school Mobile.

Several of the top prospects in this year's college ranks are Jamaicans: junior keeper Andre Blake (UConn) and freshman midfielder Omar Holness (North Carolina).


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Woodwork can't hold down USA     
[CONCACAF WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP] About the only thing that stood in the way of the U.S. women's ...
Fire goes out with late win over Houston    
[MLS: Friday] Frenchman Florent Sinama-Pongolle made sure Chicago did not finish the MLS season with another ...
James' skills highlight Real Madrid pre-clasico practice    
[VIDEO PICK: Skills] The Real Madrid-Barcelona clasico delivers entertainment even before kickoff. Here's a 40-second peek ...
What They're Saying: Luis Suarez    
"Everyone has different ways of defending themselves. In my case, the pressure and tension came out ...
Ft. Lauderdale is ready for challenge against red-hot Eddies    
[NASL: Week 16] Minnesota United FC and the 2013 champion New York Cosmos played to a ...
Finlay signs new deal with Columbus    
[MLS TRANSACTIONS] For helping drive Columbus into the playoffs after a two-year absence, midfielder Ethan Finlay ...
Referee suspended after felony arrest on fraud charges    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Referee Jose Carlos Rivero, who has worked 17 MLS matches in 2014, has been ...
Wambach nominated for Women's Player of the Year    
[AWARDS] Abby Wambach, who leads the U.S. women with 10 goals but is no longer a ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Thursday] Seyi Adekoya teamed up with fellow freshman Chase Gasper to break a 1-1 tie ...
What They're Saying: Sunil Gulati    
"None of this is personal. Some things could have been phrased differently because the actual opinions ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives