FORMER St George’s Sports Club’s captain and star player Damion Harwood is among four new signees unveiled by Harbour View Football Club yesterday as part of the club’s roster for this season’s National Premier League.
The 27-year-old Harwood is joined by former St George’s teammate Dainian Reid, as well as Rondell Morris and former National Under-20 player Charles Senior.

 

Club chairman Carvel Stewart also presented Jackie Cowan as the team’s manager, along with Wesley Parchment as equipment manager. The club explained that there could be more signings by now and the end of the transfer window.

The 2011-2012 Premier League is still without a title sponsor, but Stewart, who is also deputy chairman of the Premier League Clubs’ Association, said the league will kick off on Sunday, August 28, and the public will get “good news of the Premier League shortly”.
Harwood, a striker, scored seven goals last year for the Portland-based club he has been playing for since his Titchfield High days.
Reid, 28, also hails from Portland where he attended Port Antonio Primary and High Schools. He represented St George’s from 2006, and joins Harbour View as a midfielder.

Morris comes from Reno where he played from 2008 through last season. He is from Westmoreland and attended Petersfield High, while Senior, 23, a graduate of St George’s College, is a midfielder, having completed his studies at James Madison University in Virginia, USA. He also played football for Real Maryland FC in the United Soccer League. Joel also captained the Reggae Boyz Under 20 Team for the deceased Coach, David “Wagga” Hunt.

Cowan has worked in the banking sector for 27 years, with her last position being an assistant general manager at RBTT Bank Jamaica.
Since 2008, she had held the position of second vice-president of KSAFA, the highest post held by a female. She is the chairperson of KSAFA’s Women’s Football Committee, whose mandate was to start a women’s competition in KSAFA, which she did in May 2009.
She is also a member of the Women’s Committee of the JFF, where she also serves as a member of the board of directors.
Parchment, also an umpire, has been a member of the Harbour View FC since 2005, assisting in various capacities.

Meanwhile, head coach Donovan Hayles is confident his charges can reclaim the title this season, especially with the addition of the above-mentioned players.

“I don’t shop out of want, I shop because of needs,” he told the Observer shortly after the presentation at the club facility yesterday.
“If you go for players because of want you will end up with a lot of players who you don’t really need,” he explained. “After analysing my team at the end of last year I knew I needed more quality in certain areas and that is what I have gone for — strikers, to beef up my midfield and also in the defensive area.”

Jamaican born and Harbour View FC bred goalkeeper Ryan “Godda” Thompson will have his crowning moment when he starts for Irish champions Shamrock Rovers against Danish outfit FC Copenhagen in a second round match of the UEFA Champions League today.
The former Jamaica Under-20 custodian said he is delighted that his career is on the up, and he being selected to play in such a big game is testimony that with hard work all things are possible.

“I’m feeling very optimistic about my future at the moment,” Thompson said. “I have been in a number of environments, like the Jamaican national team, University of Tampa, Bradenton Academics and Portland Phoenix and have performed consistently at every place I’ve been. I know it was just a matter of time until the right set of people recognise my talent and give me the opportunity,” he said.

“I’m having a great experience here,” Thompson said via e-mail. “Coming in at the end of the season where everyone is fully focused on winning the league championship, there can be no better challenge or experience for me. The challenge is to try and impress the coach at a time when he is fully focusing his energy on the team,” he added.

Born in one of Kingston’s tough inner-city communities, the Jamaican noted that his time playing at various levels in the USA has helped him to hone his skills.

During his stint at the NCAA Division Two powerhouse the University of Tampa, he was named Sunshine State Conference Defensive Player of the Year in both his junior and senior seasons. He was also named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s All-America First Team.
It was only a matter of time, it seemed, before the talented Thompson exploded onto the professional circuit. It was his destiny. Still waiting for a full professional contract, he took an offer from the Phoenix to play during the summer, and as it turned out, it was the best move he could have made.

“I do believe I became a better player during my time with Portland,” he said. “I also got great coaching from Paul Baber and my teammates were very competitive (and that helped me to be better),” Thompson added.

There were five goalkeepers working out for the Phoenix at the time, including current University of Cincinnati senior Matt Williams. But Thompson’s quality stood out, and before long, he secured a trial with Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution, before moving to Ireland.
The 25-year-old recalls his mother’s words of encouragement as he pursues his football dreams.

“One thing my mom has taught me is that God has placed a dream in my heart and if I focus all my energy and effort, I will live to see my dream come true,” Thompson noted.

Ricardo Gardner has decided to remain at Bolton after rejecting the chance to move to West Ham on a free transfer, according to the player’s representative.

Gardner had appeared set to make the switch to Upton Park, where he would have been reunited with former Trotters boss Sam Allardyce.

His agent, Phil Graham, admits he did consider joining the Hammers but ultimately felt that he would be better off staying in the Premier League with Bolton.

The 32-year-old appeared on the Premier League’s list of released players published on Thursday as his contract at the Reebok Stadium had expired.

Tempting

But the Jamaican is now expected to agree a short-term deal offered to him by Wanderers.

“It was very tempting for Ricardo to go and play for Sam, as a former manager, and one he enjoyed a lot of success with,” Graham told the Bolton News.

“But he didn’t particularly want to relocate, and his family certainly didn’t want to relocate.

“He loves the club and the town, and wants to see his career out at Bolton, and more importantly in the Premier League.”

BOYZ STEADFAST IN BID TO CREATE GOLD CUP HISTORY
Williams in doubt after knee injury IAN BURNETT @ THE CONCACAF GOLD CUP in the USA

VIRGINIA, USA – Uncertainty surrounds the continued participation of Jamaican defender Dicoy Williams, who injured his right knee against Guatemala last Friday at the FIU Stadium in Miami.

The 24-year-old Toronto FC player injured his right knee inside the first 10 minutes of the Reggae Boyz’s second Group B game against the Central Americans when he attempted to make a clearance inside his 18-yard box. The Boyz eventually won the game 2-0, but lost the player via substitution.

Williams was diagnosed with a strained right knee ligament and was expected to return to action in a few days after the swelling on the outside of the leg subsided.

He has not been able to train since, and instead of getting better, he has complained about pain returning to the area, which forced the team management to schedule an MRI at a local hospital last night.

Meanwhile, the Boyz held their first training session at the Trinity College in North West Washington DC yesterday afternoon in preparation of Sunday’s quarter-final fixture against hosts the USA at the RFK Stadium at 3:00 pm (2:00 pm Jamaica time).

Jamaica have never beaten the US at the senior level, but the entire delegation appears steadfast in its quest to create a bit of history in the nation’s capital on Sunday.

Along with Williams, first-choice goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts also missed the training session yesterday after complaining of slight pain in his knee.

The Boyz spent nearly two hours at the lush, green facility, watched by a number of Jamaican residents from the area, including at least two former national players.
Head coach Theodore Whitmore led the team through the technical drills, before his assistant Alfredo Montesso took control of the tactical session which followed.

The team had arrived at its Key Bridge Marriot Hotel here in Virginia at about 8:00 pm on Wednesday, after a six-hour bus ride from New Jersey.
The journey should have been completed much quicker, but the team bus was delayed badly on the New Jersey Turnpike by afternoon traffic.
Still, the team managed a training session at the St Peter’s College in New Jersey in the morning.

Dicoy Williams, Jason Morrison and Dane Richards were absent from that session. Morrison did not train because of a slight niggle, but Richards did not make the 20-minute trip to the training venue after he failed to make the 8:30 am departure time, which was insisted upon by Whitmore, a clear indication that he remains focused and business-like on the task at hand.

The Boyz had been given the night off on Monday after their third consecutive victory in the first round at the Red Bull Arena. However, they regrouped quickly the following evening with a recovery session in the swimming pool, and since then it has been business as usual.


REGGAE BOYZ ON A HIGH AHEAD OF US CLASH
Audley Boyd, Assistant Editor – Sport

VIRGINIA, United States: JAMAICA’S coaching staff had to, in horse racing parlance, rein in the Reggae Boyz to temper their enthusiasm, as they went through their first full training session yesterday, at Trinity College in Washington, DC, since arriving in the United States capital.

The Jamaicans got to Washington, DC late Wednesday evening, travelling over five and half hours by bus from New Jersey, where they wrapped up their CONCACAF Gold Cup preliminary fixtures with a 1-0 win over Honduras.

That victory ensured the Boyz a clean sweep of their first-round fixtures for the first time at this tournament and they are now in Washington preparing for Sunday’s quarter-final showdown against the United States, at the RFK Stadium, beginning at 3 p.m. (2 p.m. Jamaica time).
“The response was good,” noted Alfredo Montesso, the Brazilian who works alongside head coach Theodore Whitmore to condition the team.
take our time

“We had to control the excitement of the players at the training today. They were putting everything in it, this is good,” he noted. “But from the other side, we’ve to settle down a little bit, let them know that the game is coming on Sunday and we’ve to take our time, take more mental energy to understand what we have to do, how to move the team like we had them moving with ball possession.

“These are the things that we’re trying to emphasise every training session,” Montesso added.

On a couple of occasions during the session – which was watched by a fairly large group of Jamaicans – a halt was brought to proceedings when Jason Morrison and fellow central midfielder Richard Edwards clashed heads while going for the ball, and later when striker Luton Shelton was put on the turf by a hard, but clean challenge by Omar Daley.

Following the latter, Montesso grouped the players for a chat, after which they resumed their preparation in high spirits and without any heart-stopping moment, putting together some nice offensive combinations that were finished with goals or generally decent attempts.
Two regular starting players – central defender Dicoy Williams and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts – sat out the session. Williams, who got hurt early in the team’s 2-0 win over Guatemala in Miami, is a concern to the coaching staff, while Ricketts was sidelined for precautionary reasons.
“Dicoy worries us a little more,” Montesso revealed. “Dicoy is still feeling pain from the injury that he got. He was getting treatment and there was some improvement a little, but it looks like that went back (got worse), so he’s going for an MRI.”

He was taken to the hospital shortly after training late yesterday evening.

With regard to the goalie, Montesso said: “Ricketts’ (omission) was just to preserve him because he was feeling his knee a little bit, but he should be back in training tomorrow.”

The Jamaica team had trained on Wednesday morning in New Jersey, ahead of their journey Washington, DC. Montesso thinks they made a good call.

“We took the time to train yesterday before we left New Jersey because if we spent the time we did on the bus yesterday we couldn’t reach here in Washington and have any time to train,” he observed. “So we have one training session ahead of the US, that’s an advantage for us because the US didn’t get to train.”
he should be back in training tomorrow.”

 

U21 STRIKER, RANIQUE MUIR –
Kraze Rally To Defeat Academics Mendoza’s two assists lead 3-2 victory in Bradenton

BRADENTON, Fla. — The Central Florida Kraze rallied for a 3-2 victory against the IMG Bradenton Academics on Thursday evening as Johnny Mendoza recorded a pair of assists before Jabari Garibaldi scored the game-winning goal with 15 minutes to go.

Playing in their third game in seven days, which included a road trip to North Carolina for the U.S. Open Cup, the Kraze players not only faced a talented opponent but the extreme weather as well. early on, it looked as if another trip was going to be too much for the Kraze as they started sluggish and fell behind in the eighth minute as the Academics opened the scoring through Luis Calzadilla.

As play continued the Kraze began to get a little more rythem and were able to capitalize in the 20th minute when defender Sean Hart scored off a corner kick from midfielder Johnny Mendoza. But IMG would rebound and regain both the lead and momentum in the 26th minute as Martin Ontiveros was able to beat goalkeeper Keneil Baker for a 2-1 lead the Academics would carry to halftime.

The second half was a much different story as the Kraze (6-1-1/19 Points) came out with more urgency and they would tie the score in the 57th minute when Ryan Maloney scored off of a cross by Mendoza. Both sides then began to go to their benches for fresh legs were inserted into the match, but the Kraze appeared to benefit more from the changes as they were able to secure the ball create several chances on the Academics goal.

The Kraze would finally get the game-winning tally when Garibaldi received the ball 40 yards from goal and turned, beat several defenders, and cracked a shot into the Academics goal in the 75th minute. The Kraze would hold on to head home with a 3-2 victory and remain at the top of the PDL Southeast Division standings.

“The boy’s played so well today and I am very proud of their effort,” Kraze coach Joe Avallone said. “This was definitely a team win as everyone contributed which allowed us to come from behind and get three points against a solid team. The chemistry on this squad is fantastic as each player is working hard for their teammate. We have one more hurdle to get over in this long stretch on Saturday against Nashville, however I feel with a day of rest the team will be prepared and look to stay undefeated at home”.

Next up for the Central Florida Kraze is a June 18th match to take place at the Florida Citrus Bowl with a 3 p.m. kickoff as part of a doubleheader with USL PRO’s Orlando City, who face the Wilmington Hammerheads that evening at 7:30 p.m.

 

ON LOAN HVFC STRIKER, ANDRE FAGAN SCORES A DOUBLE AT SNLA, VIETNAMESE LEAGUE!

ANDRE “BULLET” FAGAN, continues his rich goalscoring form in Vietnam by scoring two more goals last weekend to add to his earlier midweek goal making it 3 in the week….taking his seasonal tally so far to nine goals.

Fellow Jamaican striker partner, Devon Hodges also scored a hat-trick to help SNLA win by 6-2 and stay at the top of the league which breaks for a week….Hodges now has six goals.

In an effort to continue to broaden the horizons and training of our HVFC Technical Staff in an ongoing basis, our former HVFC Players Lovel Palmer and Damani Ralph, has arranged opportunities for their previous youth Coach, Ludlow Bernard.

Harbour View FC, Administrator and U20 Coach, Ludlow Bernard departed the island on Wednesday to observe, experience and exchange ideas on Team preparation, Match analysis and post-game training at US Major League Soccer (MLS) Franchise the Houston Dynamo FC, home of former Harbour View FC Captain, Lovel Palmer as they host a League game against MLS, outfit Columbus Crew, 7:30pm on Saturday, June 18th, 2011 at their Home Stadium at The Robertson Centre where Lovel Palmer is being promoted as the featured Player on their website.

On Monday to Wednesday next, he also travels to FC Dallas to experience a wider perspective with another Texas MLS Franchise, with Technical Director, Barry Gorman who recently visited Jamaica as a part of the new bonding with the PLCA and US NPSL.

Mr. Bernard returns to the island on Thursday, June 23rd.

18 YEAR OLD, DAMION LOWE AND 20 YEAR OLD, JERMIE LYNCH DEPARTED THIS MORNING FOR A ONE WEEK TRAIL AT TORONTO FC ACADEMY!
After leading the HVFC Under 20 League Champions to a fifth Title last weekend, both players Damion Lowe and Jermie Lynch departed the island early this morning for the Canadian city of Toronto, where the will stay until next Friday, June 24th as a part of the Toronto FC Academy.

The towering 6 foot 2 inches defensive and attacking players, will be met by Academy Head Stuart Neely this afternoon and later tonight, attend a Senior Academy Team game at the Lamport Stadium.

Both players scored goals, in the KSAFA Knockout semifinal last evening at Boys Town FC.

Former HVFC and Reggae Boyz midfielder now Coach, Lloyd Barker will coordinate with the players while in Canada.

5 TIME UNDER-20 LEAGUE CHAMPIONS, HARBOUR VIEW FC KNOCKED OUT OF CLARO KSAFA FINAL
BY BOYS TOWN FC, 6-5 ON PENALTIES!

Harbour View FC and Boys Town FC were at it again yesterday afternoon at Collie Smith Drive, when as history seems to determine another thriller evolved in a 6-5 penalty victory to BT.

In front of a packed house the noisy bumper crowd were deeply involved from the first whistle of Referee, Wilverglen Lamey, as the game was played on the much smaller reserve field as the Premier League field was rested and being upgraded out of season as it showed obvious signs of lush grassy areas, the benefits of the recent heavy rains, rest and fertilization.

Jermie Lynch scored after 14 minutes from a Jhamie Hyde right-sided cross to get it over the line from a blockade of three BT Defenders. Boys Town equalized midway the first half as Jameel Hardware converted a penalty. The 1-1 scoreline is how the game ended.

In extra-time BT seized the lead after a diagonal pass was converted in the 8th minute of time, but this lead was reduced by Damion Lowe heroics in the last minute of the game shooting powerfully amongst a throng of defenders, from a served free-kick.

Penalties ensued, and that too produced a deadlock 4-4 after 5 kicks and BT won after converting two sudden-death penalty kicks, as it as HVFC who missed the second.

Boys Town goes on to this Sunday’s Final against Arnett Gardens FC.

Harbour View FC kept their good form to play to an exciting 3-0 victory over Greenwich Town at the Tinson Pen field on Saturday, May 28th, 2011 to complete yet another significant milestone in capping the most Under 20 Titles, totaling five (5) in the KSAFA history.

The consistent form of the Ludlow Bernard, Coached Team saw their lead atop of the Claro Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) Under-20 Confed League maintained by five points over the opposition, that included a comfortable 4-1 win over the U17 Reggae Boyz team now in Mexico.

Harbour View with ten wins and a draw from eieven games, had dropped their first points off the season in a 3-3 draw with Real Mona FC and could not be caught on 31 out of a possible 33 points.

Harbour View FC’s third Claro KSAFA Championship title in the 2010-11 season is followed by the Premier League team victories in the pre-seasonal President’s Cup then an unheralded 5th Jackie Bell Knockout crown and now the 5th U-20 St Andrew Confederation Division Titles.

The former 2009-10 Premier League and Under 21 Champions, finished third and fifth respectively in these 2010-11 competitions.

 

21 year old Premier and Under 21 League striker, Ranique Muir, departed the island on Monday for a two month Summer stint to aid his development with US Professional Developmental League Franchise the Central Florida Kraze where he will hone his skills and be exposed to international competition in the Orlando City area until August 2011.

The forward who had another promising season lead his team with all of 18 goals in the Under 21 League, he also lead with 3 goals in the 4 games of the pre-seasonal Champions KSAFA President’s Cup while scoring once each in the Premier league and Champions Jackie Bell Knockout competitions.

British Premier League campaigners, Bolton Wanderers and Newcastle United will be playing international Friendlies in Orlando during his stay.

Late Equalizer Earns Rhinos A Point Goalkeeper error by James costs Antigua victory

Antigua Barracuda FC News Release Sunday, June 5, 2011 ST. JOHN’S, Antigua — A 90th-minute error from Antigua Barracuda FC goalkeeper Molvin James gifted the visiting Rochester Rhinos a point and denied the home team a victory to end a three-game losing streak with Sunday night’s game at the Sticky Wicket Stadium ending in a 2-2 draw. Rhinos goalkeeper Neal Kitson got credit for the goal, which slipped through the unchallenged grasp of James and gifted a point to the visitors.

A decisive header in the second minute by on loan Jamaican international, Harbour View FC’s Christopher Harvey (his second goal) set the stage for what appeared to be a good night for the home team. Antigua carried its 1-0 lead to halftime, and there was little indication that the visiting Rhinos would respond the way they did after the interval.

ANDRE “BULLET” FAGAN SCORES AGAIN FOR SNLA TO KEEP LEAD IN VIETNAM
On loan Harbour View FC striker, Andre Fagan continues his goalscoring vein by pumping in another goal just before halftime to equalise, his sixth in the League since January to assist the table toppers SNLA retain a four point gap, with a 2-2 draw at home against Hong Anh Gia Lai today.

His HVFC teammate, Kavin Bryan on seven goals remain injured with a broken bone and is out for the rest of the season in August, while Jamaican Devon Hodges has scored three times in the league.

 

A 90th-minute error from Antigua Barracuda FC goalkeeper Molvin James gifted the visiting Rochester Rhinos a point and denied the home team a victory to end a three-game losing streak with Sunday night’s game at the Sticky Wicket Stadium ending in a 2-2 draw. Rhinos goalkeeper Neal Kitson got credit for the goal, which slipped through the unchallenged grasp of James and gifted a point to the visitors.

A decisive header in the second minute by Jamaican international Christopher Harvey set the stage for what appeared to be a good night for the home team. Antigua carried its 1-0 lead to halftime, and there was little indication that the visiting Rhinos would respond the way they did after the interval.

The Rhinos tied the game in the 63rd minute when Tony Donatelli headed home unmarked at the far post. The dominance of the Rochester Rhinos continued for much of the second half with the home team restricted to fast breaks and long balls in to the box which were successfully handled by the Rhinos defence.

It was a breakaway goal in the 71st minute that brought raptures of joy for the home supporters after Ranjae Christian’s intelligent run and cross found Randolph Burton who calmly slotted home for the go-ahead goal. The goal was Burton’s second goal in as many matches.

But it was the colossal error of custodian Molvin James that most will remember. A long hopeful ball in the dying seconds of the game by Rhinos Goalkeeper Neal Kitson found its way past James and into the back of the net to allow the Rhinos to take four points from their two games against the Barracuda.

“We recovered well after our disappointing first half display on Friday night and we deserved more from the game tonight,” Barracuda coach Tom Curtis said. “When mistakes are made at this level you get punished and we made too many. We will take the positives from this experience, remember we are a young team playing against teams that have been professional for a number of years, but we’ve got to pick up the pieces and keep fighting.”

Goal keeper Neal Kitson was pleased to come out of the road trip with four of the possible six points.

“We were a little fortunate tonight but we will take that on the road,” Kitson said. “I was really just hoping to get the ball in a good area to give the strikers a chance but things went a little better than that. I am happy I could help the team.”

The ’Cudas will next face Orlando City on Friday night at the Florida Citrus Bowl at 7:35 p.m.

Reggae Boyz kick-off Gold Cup against Grenada tonight at 8pm:

Dicoy Williams at Central Defense and Winger, Luton Shelton are HVFC former players to start in Gold Cup tonight, as Defensive Midfielder and current Captain, Richard Edwards along with Goalkeeper, Dwayne Miller are on the bench as Substitutes.

HVFC U21 Striker Ranique Muir departs:

Ranique Muir departs for Kraze FC, Orlando at 4:05pm but his connecting flight is delayed until 6:25am tomorrow morning as the airline takes full responsibility for Hotel, Meals and Transportation in Fort Lauderdale.

U-20 CHAMPIONS AGAIN: The Ludlow Bernard coached Under-20 Team successfully wrapped up the KSAFA League for a record 5th title. They registered a 3-0 victory over Greenwich Town FC away at Tinson Pen this afternoon to complete the 11 game season undefeated with 10 wins and a draw.

The Knockout competition consisting of the top 4 clubs starts next weekend.

Defender, Damion Lowe and forward, Jeremy Lynch will go to the Canadian High Commission on Monday for Visa Applications as they have been invited to travel to the Toronto Football Club Academy in the middle of June for a one week trial. Defender Dicoy Williams is now at this MLS club, but is away with the Reggae Boyz at the Gold Cup.

Females start out winning 7-0

Our newly rejuvenated squad of females started the competition by winning 7-0 today as the season kicked-off…Congratulations ladies,as well as Coach Bobby, Manager Jackie and Technical Director Vin Blaine.

Ranique and Nicholas get ready to depart!

U21 Ranique Muir the leading goalscorer with 18 goals, and Defensive Midfielder Nicholas Beckitt, were both successful at getting their US Visas. Ranique will get ready to depart for a Summer stint at the Central Kraze PDL Team in Orlando on Monday, June 6th, while Nicholas should go to Antigua, Barracudas FC USL Pro Team to join teammate Christopher “Jamel” Harvey who is on loan sometime later next week until August!

The HVFC Masters League team takes part in the opening ceremony and dress parade tomorrow afternoon as they start their competition next weekend.

HVFC FirstKickers Under 13 squad is scheduled to go to the the Cayman Classic Tournament on July 24-30, along with under 13 Coaches Sydney McFarlane, Duane Atkinson, Baris Johnson and goalkeeper-coach Gregory Hall.

Jamaican forward Kavin Bryan has been dealt a huge setback, as a broken leg will see him not only missing the rest of the Vietnamese League, but also the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which runs from June 5-25.

The 27-year-old broke his right fibula and dislocated his ankle while representing his club, S™ng Lam Ngh’ An, last Saturday.

Bryan’s injury was sustained during the second half after having scored the game’s lone goal in opening stanza.

“These doctors in Vietnam said I will spend two to three months in a cast and then rehab after, so I will be out for around six months,” Bryan told The Gleaner.

“I am a bit disappointed, seeing that this would have been my first Gold Cup and I was eager to go and perform and help the team in every way; but everything happens for a reason and I won’t question God’s work,” he added.

Standing surgery cost

Bryan departed Vietnam on Wednesday to undertake surgery in Singapore. His club will be standing the cost of the surgery, which is unprecedented for them as it relates to an international player. This only goes to show the impact that Bryan has had at the club.

“When I received the invitation to go to the Gold Cup, the coach didn’t want me to go; he was telling me to turn it down,” Bryan said. “It was like he was telling me to turn my back on my country, so I told him, ‘no, I can’t do that’. He was saying he can’t win the league without me playing, as I am the one who has been bringing the team, but they have to look elsewhere now.

“So after my injury he (the coach) was crying, but I told him, ‘everything will be OK, we will win’. Everybody came to the hospital, president, chairman everybody; even the sponsors of our team,” he added.

Fan favourite

Bryan has also emerged as a fan favourite, having netted 11 goals in all competitions this season, including five in his last five outings. His goalscoring form has led to his team sitting atop the 14-team league with 35 points – to hold a seven-point lead – with 11 games remaining in the season.

“The reception from the team and the fans has been very, very good because even though my team is not from the capital, each day fans bring flowers and things like that to the hotel,” Bryan shared.

“This (Broken leg) is a big setback because I have just hit form consistently, as in the last five games I have scored five goals. It has never been like this since I came to Vietnam, so I was really looking forward to the rest of the season,” he added.

Bryan started his professional career back in 2005 with Rae Town before moving in the January transfer window to Police National, where he spent three months.

In 2006, he joined Harbour View, but was loaned out to Norwegian club Notodden in 2009. He returned to Harbour View before making his latest loan move to Sng Lam Nghë An in November of last year.

Bryan last represented Jamaica in March in international friendlies against Venezuela and El Salvador. His lone goal for the national team to date came in the 3-1 victory over Trinidad and Tobago in August 2010.

Like a reliable pair of shoes, steady Jamaican midfielder Lovel Palmer can be easily overlooked.

He’s not as flashy as fellow Dynamo central midfielder Geoff Cameron, and he isn’t as dangerous on set pieces as All-Star midfielder Brad Davis.

Yet, there’s a reason Palmer and center back Andre Hainault are the only Dynamo position players who have logged every minute of every regular-season game this year.

Whether holding the ball, pushing up and distributing to the forwards or helping out in the back as a holding midfielder, Palmer has been one of the unsung and important players for the Dynamo, who will face Eastern Conference power New York on Saturday night at Robertson Stadium.

Whether holding the ball, pushing up and distributing to the forwards or helping out in the back as a holding midfielder, Palmer has been one of the unsung and important players for the Dynamo, who will face Eastern Conference power New York on Saturday night at Robertson Stadium.

“Lovel is one of those guys that you love to have on the team because you know that he’s going to be working his butt off to get back and make that defensive play,” goalkeeper Tally Hall said. “And attacking-wise, I think he’s kept the ball for us well.

“Even against Real Salt Lake, I think he did a great job of receiving balls and playing out wide. They’re known for their midfield, and I think Lovel did a good job to show that he’s a midfielder of quality. To have a midfielder like that, as a goalkeeper, who comes back and plays defense, obviously to me it means more because you know you have a guy who can be a fifth defender.”

In his second year with the Dynamo, Palmer, 26, is one of three Jamaican players on the roster. Of those three, Palmer is the only one who is a permanent fixture in the starting lineup. Center back Jermaine Taylor was expected to start, but he was injured on national team duty in March and hasn’t regained his starting spot from Hainault since he has returned to health.

Je-Vaughn Watson has shown flashes of brilliance while making two starts and five appearances, but he’s been behind Colin Clark on the right side of the midfield and behind Cameron and Palmer in central midfield.

But Palmer was the Dynamo’s only Jamaican player who didn’t make the roster for the upcoming Gold Cup.

“It’s really disappointing because you play well with your club all season,” Palmer said. “You’re putting out good performances hoping that you would get the look in, but you don’t get it and it’s very disappointing.”

Palmer was one of the key contributors late last year as Jamaica won the 2010 Digicel Caribbean Cup, so Palmer’s Dynamo teammates and coach were surprised he was left off the Gold Cup team.

“Any time you don’t get called into something that you’re hoping to be a part of, it can bother you,” coach Dominic Kinnear said. “He’s a pretty honest kid. I thought from watching the Digicel Cup last year that he would have a good chance of playing in the Gold Cup.”


MAICON’S GOAL CAPS OFF THE NIGHT
A 1-1 draw gives Toronto the advantage heading to BMO Field.
Brandon Timko

Maicon Santos’ equalizer against Vancouver puts Toronto in pole position.

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Toronto FC withstood an onslaught from Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the first leg of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship on Wednesday at Empire Field to head into the deciding leg with a 1-1 tie.

Finally able to field their regular starters, Vancouver looked as good as they have since their March 19 MLS season opener against Toronto. Vancouver looked the more aggressive side throughout and took the lead courtesy of an Eric Hassli strike in the 64th minute, but Toronto responded with a deft goal from Maicon Santos nine minutes later.

While Vancouver enjoyed the run of play and threatened from the early going, their best chance of the match didn’t come until a half-hour in, as Camilo cut into the box and struck a hard shot to the near corner only to be denied by a terrific save from Stefan Frei.

However, TFC wouldn’t go into the rest period quietly. Just before the halftime whistle, Reds striker Nick Soolsma turned ‘Caps defender Alain Rochat at midfield and raced down the right wing before hitting a shot towards the near corner that was denied by a diving Jay Nolly, sending the teams into the dressing rooms tied 0-0.

Looking to take a crucial lead into the second leg, Vancouver came knocking with a flurry of chances. In the controversial play of the match, Camilo went down in the box just two minutes after the restart off a sliding challenge from TFC’s Adrian Cann but no call was made.

Nonetheless, the ‘Caps kept pushing forward for the lead and twice found the woodwork. First, in the 48th minute, Hassli turned at the top of the box and fired a low shot off the post. Six minutes later, Camilo took his turn, stinging a shot past Frei but off the crossbar.

Finally, four minutes past the hour, Vancouver’s efforts paid dividends as Davide Chiumiento broke up the field and found Hassli on the far side. The big striker then cut to the middle of the park and unleashed a curling left-footed shot past Frei for a 1-0 lead.

Toronto eventually found their legs in the second half and nearly scored on 72 minutes, when Adrian Cann found the ball at his feet after a corner kick but was shut down by a Nolly kick-save. However, the visitors found an equalizer a minute later as Maicon Santos deflected a cross from Soolsma into the net to tie the game.

Vancouver had one final chance in stoppage time to retake the lead as a prayer launched up the field by defender Greg Janicki was nearly answered when Rochat got to the bouncing ball before Frei and rose up to head the ball towards goal only to see it hit the wrong side of the net.

The two sides will meet again in a week’s time for the deciding second leg in Toronto at BMO Field on Wednesday, May 25.

The winner of the two-game aggregate goals series will take home the Voyageurs Cup as Canadian champions and qualify for the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League.

SCORING SUMMARY
VAN — Eric Hassli (Davide Chiumiento) 64’
TOR – Maicon Santos (Nick Soolsma) 73’
MISCONDUCT SUMMARY
TOR — Dicoy Williams, caution 52′
VAN – Gershon Koffie, caution 68′
VAN – Terry Dunfield, caution 77′
LINEUPS:
TORONTO FC – 24.Stefan Frei; 27.Richard Eckersley, 31.Dicoy Williams, 12.Adrian Cann, 8.Dan Gargan; 23.Jacob Peterson (26.Matthew Gold 33’), 6.Julian de Guzman 22.Tony Tchani (16.Oscar Cordon 45’); 18.Nick Soolsma, 29.Maicon Santos, 7.Joao Plata (20.Ty Harden 76’) Unused substitutes: 30.Milos Kocic; 3.Nana Attakora; 11.Nathan Sturgis; 1.Alen Stevanovic
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC — 18. Jay Nolly; 25.Jonathan Leathers, 14. Greg Janicki, 6.Jay DeMerit; 4.Alain Rochat; 20. Davide Chiumiento, 7. Terry Dunfield, 28. Gershon Koffie, 22.Shea Salinas (31.Russell Teibert 83’); 29. Eric Hassli (17. Omar Salgado 73’), 37.Camilo (16. Nizar Khlafan 78’) Unused substitutes: 1. Joe Cannon; 8. Wes Knight, 12.Jeb Brovsky, 50.Mouloud Akloul
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Assistants: Darren Clark, Kevin Duliba
4th official: Drew Fischer
Attendance: 15,474

VIETNAM:
Kavin Bryan scores twice as SNLA wins against Khanh Hoa to continue leading the V-League at the break, Andre Fagan played his part in earning a penalty and Devon Hodges scored the final goal in a 4-0 victory.
SNLA also advanced to the August 7th Knockout Finals.
ANTIGUA/USL PRO LEAGUE:

Christopher Harvey and Newton Sterling, lost 0-2 away to Rochester Rhinos on Saturday night in the USA, as the Antigua Barracudas FC lost their first game in the last seven as a new franchise in the USL Pro League, but still lead their Division.

Nicholas Beckitt renewed his US Visa at the US Embassy and will join them next week on loan until mid August like the other two players.