The run up to the 2015 MLS season will start on day after New Year’s Day for at least a few individuals who wish to be involved.
Before prospective players and MLS coaches gather in Florida for the annual Player Combine, the league and the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) will stage a combine for Caribbean players in Bayamón, Puerto Rico.
Players ages 18-21 will be paraded at the combine Jan. 2-5. Those who are recommended by league representatives and scouts on hand will be invited the MLS Player Combine the second week of January in Fort Lauderdale.
“We’re excited to be returning to the Caribbean with the prospect of identifying some of the area’s top young talent,” said MLS executive vice president, Todd Durbin. “Our league currently features more than 25 players from the Caribbean Islands, including Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago.”
Last year at the first staging of the Caribbean combine in Antigua , two of 24 players were impressive enough to be invited the MLS Player Combine. This year, the combine will be staged as a four-day event of training sessions and games against local teams at the Bayamón Football Club.
Twenty-four players from the region took part in the inaugural Caribbean Player Combine in 2014 held in Antigua, and two moved on to feature in the MLS Player Combine. This year, the four-day event will take place at facilities, and will include training session and games against local clubs.
“Providing meaningful advancement opportunities for our young talented players is one of our major corner stones and the MLS Caribbean Combine is that critical component in realizing this,” said Caribbean Football Union president Gordon Derrick.