Arnett Gardens continued their impressive run in this season’s JFF/PLCA Under-21 League, scoring a 1-0 win over arch-rivals Boys’ Town in the Trench Town derby at Collie Smith Complex yesterday.

Fabian Reid, who scored the senior team’s final goal in a 3-1 win over Harbour View in the Red Stripe Premier League on Wednesday, netted the game’s only goal a minute before the break.

After dominating the first-half, the ‘Junglists’ should have taken the lead midway the period but Javoni Simms blasted his effort over the bar from 12 yards.

But 44 minutes into the contest, the Charlie Smith forward danced by his marker on the left and delivered a low ball for Reid to squeeze the ball under Ryan Johnson from six yards.

The home team had the better of the second-half but did not really trouble the Arnett Gardens defence.

Seven minutes from the end, Arnett Gardens nearly added a second but an alert Boys’ Town defence cleared off the line after Andrew Allen rounded Johnson and slotted towards goal.

The win kept the Lijyasu Simms-coached team atop the standing with 34 points.

However, Portmore United stay in close pursuit with 32 points after goals from John-Ross Doyley and Ricardo Morris carried them to a 2-0 win over Reno at Ferdie Neita Park.

Meanwhile, Humble Lion denied parish rivals Sporting Central Academy from overtaking Boys’ Town in the standing after Jason Wallace’s 33rd-minute goal gave them a 1-0 win at Brancourt.

Village United remained sixth on 15 points, six adrift of Sporting Central, after a 3-1 win over bottom-placed Highgate at Elliston Wakeland Centre.
Ferdenol Watson fired the visitors ahead 28 minutes into the match, but an own goal four minutes later put Village back on even terms.

Shaunovan McKenzie then fired Village into the lead a minute before the break and Aldain Grant sealed the win with another strike 20 minutes from time.

At Drewsland, Leighton McLarty became Waterhouse topscorer after his fifth goal of season gave the host a 1-0 win over third-placed Tivoli Gardens.

Harbour View tagged Montego Bay 4-0 in the late game at the Compound with a hatrick by returning from injury striker, Romaine Lewis to climb up the League’s goalscoring chart on 8 goals behind teammate Jauvane Benjamin (9) and Arnett Gardens Omar Gordon(10).

The other goal was scored by Ricknell Ramsay to move HVFC into third place on 27 points.

Kingston, Jamaica: Vincent Mitchell heads the list of prospective scholarship athletes, coming out of the final day of scouting as the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus concludes its 3rd annual Football Scholarship festival.

A sixth form student of the Mandeville High, Mitchell was acknowledged as one the most talented athletes along with former Glenmuir High School student, Clovel Dinall at Thursday’s final all-star Manning and Dacosta Cup Match.

“This is my first time here and I thought it was an excellent three-day activity”, said Mitchell. “I am very excited because there are lots of opportunities open for me. I was approached by several universities, almost all so far but I have not made any decisions yet. My plan however is to attend a university where I can focus on academics as well as sport so that I always have a second option”.

Tom Carlin, Head Coach from the Villanova University, is one of the many other coaches who expressed interest in Mitchell. “There is extreme potential in all the students that I have seen over the past three days, he says”. “We are looking for vision and creativity from players.”

At the end of the matches, the scouts lauded the athletes for excellent performance. Many expressed their heightened interest in Jamaican athletes due to achievements from the likes of Darren Mattocks, former Bridgeport High School and Waterhouse FC player who is expected to be the number one pick in the 2012 Major League Soccer draft.

Clovel Dillan is one of the athletes who now have a better chance of accessing such opportunities with offers from institution such as Temple University.

“I just played simple like my coaches said,” says Dinall. “I was approached by several universities… which can open an opportunity for me to play Major League Soccer. However, no decisions are yet made as I still have some meetings pending with some of the coaches.”

Tertiary institution including the Ohio Dominican University, the University of Central Florida, Villanova University, Temple University from Philadelphia and West Virginia University were among several local and international entities perusing the athletes.

More than thirty students have received scholarships over the last three years under the programme. Eighteen of those students have been awarded UWI Mona scholarships including Teo Campbell, Rashane Garcia, Kemar Douglas and Andrae Bernal. Other scholarships recipients included Omar Tape to UTech, Clovell Dinal to GC Foster, Necas Collins, University of Hartford and Chris Waugh, University of Tampa.

Other prospective scholarship awardees coming out of Thursday’s game include Jovanni Simms, Gegory Kogg, Taval Whittaker, Ricardo Oldham and Andrew Allen.

Interest by overseas clubs in Jamaica’s national footballers has stepped up recently and, according to one agent, several of his clients are being courted by top teams in Europe, the United States and Mexico.

Patrick McCabe, who represents Omar Cummings, Dane Richards, Lovel Palmer, Khari Stephenson, Dever Orgill, Shavar Thomas and O’Brian White, said he has been in discussions with clubs which have begun to take closer notice of the Reggae Boyz’s talent.

“The profile of the Jamaican players is a pretty positive one right now,” McCabe said on December 23. ” … The clubs respect them.”
Highest on the list appears to be midfielder Richards and striker Cummings. Both were outstanding in the recently concluded season of Major League Soccer (MLS), North America’s premier competition. Richards, 27, who plays for the New York Red Bulls, is coveted by “three or four teams in the English Premier League (EPL)”, according to McCabe.

“He (Richards) has been the hottest player in the last third of the MLS (2010) season, along with Omar Cummings,” the agent said.
McCabe declined to name the EPL clubs involved, citing a need to protect the professional relationship with them. Richards, who helped Jamaica win the 2010 Digicel Caribbean Cup (DCC), was recently invited for try-outs by “a couple of those teams”, according to the agent. But, McCabe said, despite Richards’ interest in playing in Europe, the Red Bulls “squashed” the idea of releasing the player for trials. New York, which signed big-name players Thierry Henry of France and Rafael Marquez last season, appears keen on consolidating.

“At this point, the Red Bulls is not willing to move him (Richards),” said McCabe. “Their goal is to keep the squad intact.”

EUROPEAN INTEREST

During the MLS season, sources indicated that the European interest in Richards had increased dramatically, especially after the speedy flank player ran roughshod over Manchester City during the English club’s pre-season tour of the US. But in August, Red Bulls coach Hans Bache said those suggestions were possibly agents trying to push their clients into the spotlight. McCabe dismissed that argument.
“In respect to Dane, I have nothing to gain by throwing that out,” he said. “Dane has made it no secret that he wants to go to Europe to play. People know who Dane is.”

Clubs are also aware of Cummings’s emergence. The 28-year-old was a key player for the Colorado Rapids, which won MLS 2010, and Jamaica in the DCC.

McCabe confirmed that Mexican top division club Necaxa offered the Rapids US$750,000 for the player, but the offer was rejected. Colorado, according to McCabe, would like to keep Cummings “long term”.

Yet the quick, skilful player could still be on the move. There is a “possibility of (Cummings) going to England”, said McCabe.

“That (discussion) is very much in progress,” explained the agent. ” … A loan deal is being discussed with a Premiership team, a top-10 team.”
Meanwhile Orgill, a 20-year-oldforward with St Georges Sports Club of the Digicel Premier League (DPL), who also represented the Vancouver Whitecaps in the United Soccer Leagues, North America’s second-tier competition, has been invited to try-out with San José Earthquakes of MLS. Orgill has represented Jamaica in recent senior internationals, but was not part of the DCC squad.

Stephenson, 29, was also absent from the DCC, but looks set to secure a permanent move from Norwegian club Aalesunds FK. Stephenson was on loan with the Earthquakes for part of MLS 2010.

According to McCabe, the midfielder completed the last year of his contract in Norway and there is a “strong possibility” he will return to the US, with “San José, but it could be another MLS club”.

Stephenson spent the first few years of his pro career in MLS with the Chicago Fire and Kansas City Wizards, before moving to Europe.
Three other McCabe clients appear settled with clubs for the 2011 MLS season, which begins in March. Thomas, 29, and Palmer, 26, both members of the winning DCC team, are set to return to their 2010 clubs. Thomas represented the Wizards last season after moving from the Philadelphia Union.

Palmer completed a creditable rookie season with the Houston Dynamo, which have invited Harbour View midfielder Richard Edwards, another key member of Jamaica’s DCC team, for a trial in February.

Meanwhile, White, who recently decided to play for Jamaica over Canada, has signed with the Seattle Sounders after leaving Toronto FC In his first two MLS seasons, the striker battled to recover from a severe knee injury and regain the form he showed while scoring nearly 50 goals as a US college player.

McCabe admitted that White, who made his debut for the Boyz in a November friendly international against Costa Rica in Florida, did not excel in Toronto and with a “big contract, which was difficult to fit in under the salary cap in his option year”, TFC looked elsewhere.
“If he had made more impact in the team, maybe they would have tried to keep him,” the agent said.
White gets a chance to start over in Seattle.

“It’s a great opportunity for him,” McCabe said.

Perennial rivals Harbour View and Boys’ Town battled to another enthralling 0-0 stalemate in their Red Stripe Premier League encounter at the Harbour View mini stadium on Sunday night.

The result left Harbour View in fourth place on 24 points, 10 adrift of league leaders Portmore United. Waterhouse remain in second place with 28 points, one ahead of surprise package Humble Lion. Sporting Central Academy are next on 24 points, followed by defending champions Tivoli Gardens on 23, Boys’ Town and Arnett Gardens on 22, Montego Bay United and Reno on 20, Highgate United on 15 and Village United bringing up the rear on 11 points, after 17 rounds of games.

In a fairly even first half, the best chance went to Harbour View’s Zane Goulbourne, who fluffed the opportunity after being perfectly placed in a one-on-one situation with goalkeeper Maurice Evans, by a sublime Jermaine Hue through ball.

Instead of rounding the advancing Evans, Goulbourne shot straight into the goalkeepers’ midriff from inside the penalty area.

Jahmalie Spence, who replaced Goulbourne at the interval, almost made the substitution magical when he capitalised on Evans’ indecision to poke the ball goalwards, only for the retreating Wayne Ellis to clear in time for a corner.

The home team were clearly the better side in the second half and moments later the sly Romario Campbell dipped inside his marker from the right hand side of the penalty area and unleashed a torrid left-footed drive which was blocked by Evans at his near post for a corner.

In the end, Harbour View could not find a way through the Boys’ Town defence, marshalled by midfield anchor Oneil Thompson, thus resulting in their league-high ninth drawn result.

Teams:
Harbour View — Devon Haughton, Nicholas Beckett, Montrose Phinn, Robert Williams, Kimorlie Brissett, Richard Edwards, Joel Senior (John-Ross Edwards 70th), Romario Campbell, Jermaine Hue, Fabian Taylor (Jevaune Benjamin 76th), Zane Goulbourne (Jahmalie Spence 46th).
Subs not used: Ashek Taylor, Rondell Morris, Fabian Campbell, Kemeel Wolfe
Booked: R Campbell (33rd)
Boys’ Town — Maurice Evans, Nicholas McMorris, Oneil Thompson, Hugh Evans, Michael Campbell, Kearn Binns (Fabian Francis 83rd), Jermaine Allen (Mikhail Howell 73rd), Asrick Samuels, Shane Edwards, Wayne Ellis, Renae Lloyd (Joel Williams 90th+).
Subs not used: Kirk Porter, Richard Clarke, Romondo Johnson, Garfield Gillespie
Booked: Lloyd (23rd), H Evans (79th), Ellis (88th), M Evans (90th+)
Referee: Raymond Bogle
Assistants: Garnett Page, Damion Williams
Fourth Official: Hugh Rankine
Match Commissary: Elaine Walker-Brown

Harbour View, led by second-half strikes from Jermaine Hue (68th) and substitute Jamarlie Spence (78th), handed defending champions Tivoli Gardens their second straight Red Stripe Premier League defeat at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex yesterday.

Substitute Christopher Nicholas scored the lone goal for Tivoli in the 70th minute.

By virtue of the win, the Stars of the East moved up from seventh to fourth on 23 points, while Tivoli (goal difference) dropped to fifth in the 12-team standings, also on 23 points.

Sporting Central Academy also have 23 points, following a goalless draw at Lynch Park with Highgate United yesterday.

Portmore united lead

Portmore United continue to lead, with 31 points, following an enthralling 3-3 finish with Montego Bay United at Montego Bay Stadium last night. Portmore appeared beaten as they trailed 1-3 in the final 10 minutes.

At Tivoli, Donovan ‘DV’ Hayles, coach of Harbour View, said his team’s 2-1 victory will inspire confidence.

“I am very happy with our performance because playing against a quality Tivoli team and getting three points is very good for us,” said Hayles.
“I think that this win should do a lot for us going forward, because I think that this is our first big win of the season and so it should do a lot for our players for the remainder of the competition,” he said. “We have been playing badly and so we hope that after this game things will be able to get better for us and things will start working in our favour.”

Hue stunned the home fans when he fired home from the penalty spot, this after Robert Williams was brought down inside the area by defender Kemar Flemmings.

However, Nicholas brought his team back into the game two minutes later, when he tapped home the equaliser.

The speedy and skilful Spence sealed the victory for the visitors 12 minutes from time as he fired home a cross from Hue.

Tivoli’s head coach Glendon ‘Admiral’ Bailey was disappointed.

“I think we played flat and we didn’t look like we wanted to play today,” said Bailey. “However, in the second half we made a couple of changes and we got a goal from the substitute. But we gave up a soft goal and this is kind of heartbreaking for us,” Bailey added.

RED Stripe was yesterday confirmed as title sponsors of the National Premier League (NPL), but the financial details of the three-year deal was frustratingly shrouded in secrecy.

The much-anticipated press launch of the event at the Spanish Court Hotel was defeating for journalists in their attempts to decipher the sponsorship code, or the finer financial details of the agreement.

After countless questions from different angles about how much the sponsorship was worth, Renato Gonzalez, the Brazilian managing director of Red Stripe; Jomo Cato, head of marketing at Red Stripe, and Edward Seaga, chairman of the Premier league Clubs Association (PLCA), all refused to give a direct answer.

“We won’t go into the specific detail of the funding,” was Gonzalez’s terse response.
“This contract is much bigger than just the numbers. It is what we are putting into the communities, that’s what is important,” he said.
Said Seaga: “Every year we have completed our sponsorship programmes higher than the previous year and this year is no different. It will be higher than last year, significantly. The cash portion will be better.”

Telecommunication giant Digicel was the last title sponsors of the league, ending a three-year $150 million deal at the end of the 2010/2011 season.

Since then, the PLCA had been unable to secure a sponsor and the season actually started without a major sponsor, but with several associate sponsors.

Beverage company Red Stripe has come on board to quench the financial thirst of the ailing Premier League clubs who were struggling to stay afloat with an annual budget of some $20 million.

“I woke up this morning with a smile on my face. It is definitely a great day for us all. As a Brazilian, there are many things that make me feel great about Jamaica. Out of many, one people! Out of many, one beer! One love!

“Today is a day that two major Jamaican passions come together again. Our Premier League football and our Red Stripe beer,” Gonzalez exulted.
“This is an exciting journey that will be extremely positive for all parties. Red Stripe is an iconic Jamaican brand and one that we love dearly. Football is a global passion and the Premier League is deeply loved as well,” said Gonzalez.

Red Stripe, according to Cato, will be focusing on three areas mainly — the clubs, improved television broadcast and community activation.
“The feeling today is that we are living a marketer’s dream. Today we kickoff what I know will be a tremendous partnership with the PLCA,” said Cato.

“Firstly, we want to dramatically improve the consumer experience. We want a partnership that works; it is not just a sponsorship. We are on a mission that is much deeper than sponsorship.

“It’s about listening to our fans and celebrating our passion for the ‘beautiful game’ and making sure whatever we do, it lifts the quality of football in Jamaica, together with the PLCA,” he added.
Cato said fans can expect changes in the way they come to the communities to celebrate this game.
“Expect changes in the way the games are presented and a major change in working with the PLCA to showcase the players and the talents in Jamaica,” he added.

Meanwhile, Seaga said negotiations were ongoing from last year and they were not unaccustomed to Red Stripe being a football sponsor.
“It has happened before and now it is happening again. It has taken us two months into the season to complete it,” said Seaga.

With the deal now completed, the 12 clubs will be getting their regular funding at the end of every month. Additionally, they will be getting retroactive money from September when the league began.

“From the delay has come something we believe is a better product in terms of the funding and what the project will do and elevating the image of Red Stripe, the image of the PLCA and football in Jamaica,” noted Seaga.

“We welcome the sponsors and the plans that they have. We look forward to a new beginning with Red Stripe at the helm,” he added.
Red Stripe has previously supported football as a main sponsor of the national senior team and the Red Stripe Champions Cup between 2004-2007.
Most recently, they were associate sponsors of last season’s Flow Champions Knockout Cup.

Red Stripe will be the fourth title sponsor in the past six years after long-time sponsors Wray and Nephew ended their association, somewhat abruptly, in 2006.

The liquor company was replaced by investment entity Cash Plus for the start of the 2007 season, but their association was cut short after Cash Plus crashed under a host of investigations and was deemed to be operating illegally.
Digicel took over, but their three-year deal expired last season.

Referee Raymond Bogle was forced into the Christmas spirit early as he dished out cards left, right and centre at the Ferdie Neita Park on Wednesday night.

The Under-17 World Cup referee issued a total of seven cards, three red and four yellow and, had he not exercised a different kind of charity, could have issued another red as Portmore United and Harbour View played to a 0-0 draw in the National Premier League.

Harbour View captain Richard Edwards was ejected in the 56th minute for a foul on Tremaine Stewart, while substitutes Ricardo Morris of Portmore, who replaced Alanzo Adlam, and Romario Campbell of Harbour View got their marching orders in the 79th and 90+3 minutes, respectively, for retaliation.

Harbour View’s Nicholas Beckett and the Portmore trio of Upstan Edwards, Ewan Grandison and Eric Vernan received yellow cards.
With that result, Portmore United lost the top spot as they were edged out by Sporting Central Academy, who moved up to 18 points – the same as Portmore United, but with a better goal difference – following their 2-0 win over Boys’ Town.

Harbour View inched up a place as the point earned from the draw saw them climb to sixth with 11 points.

Disappointing play

“I am very disappointed, especially with the fact that after Harbour View went down to 10 men, we did not capitalise. Indiscipline caused us to go down to 10 men as well, but with young players, you will have that kind of thing. But we have to keep working to get things right,” Portmore United coach, Calvin Lewis, said at the end of play.

Harbour View’s assistant coach, Harold Thomas, was not happy with the fact that his team could not transfer “their control of the midfield to scoring chances”.

“There is room for improvement, especially in the finishing and the creation of goalscoring chances,” Thomas said.
“It is sad when a game such as this ends with three red cards. Apart from the players being culpable, I think it shows a loss of control on the part of the referee.”

The game that promised much due to the history of the teams and the depth of their squads did not live up to expectations and took about 20 minutes for a real pattern to develop, even though the competition was sometimes fierce. That the game would have been a physical one became evident early – in the first 11 minutes, three yellow cards were issued and just 15 minutes later, Portmore’s leading scorer Alanzo Adlam had to be substituted due to an injury.

Despite the focus on physicality, a number of opportunities were created with the better ones falling to Portmore United. In the 27th minute, Stewart, the game’s best player, got a through pass and slipped inside Christopher Harvey, but with just goalkeeper Michaud Barrett to beat, he steered his effort wide.

Thirteen minutes later, Stewart was the creator as his pass picked out Michael Spence on the edge of the 18-yard box, where he was taken out by Kemar Lawrence. The ball broke kindly for Eric Vernan, who blasted at Barrett from close range, but was unable to beat him.

Many replacements

Needing more purpose in their attack, Harbour View replaced Donovan Edwards with Kemeel Wolfe in the 48th minute, but were soon on the back foot as, eight minutes later, Edwards was ejected for his tackle on Stewart.

With the one-man disadvantage, Harbour View adopted a defensive posture and were constantly outnumbered when they managed an attack, as Fabian Taylor and Lamar Nelson were largely on their own. The visitors made a double change in the 71st minute. Taylor was replaced by Juvaune Benjamin and Nelson by Romario Campbell.

Portmore United could have found themselves down to 10 men when Vernan was not ejected for kicking Campbell in the 78th minute. Equity in numbers would be reached just a minute later when Morris slapped at Senior and was sent to the showers. Vernan was not too be outdone as, two minutes later, he picked up a yellow card for not retreating the required distance from an infringement to allow the free kick to be taken.

As the game wound down, Vernan got the chance to keep Portmore at the top of the table when he got a break on the defence and the goalkeeper, but instead of rolling the ball across the goal, he went for glory and blasted wide with his weaker left foot from an acute angle.

That was not to be the final bit of excitement in the game, as Campbell returned a slap with seconds to go and got his just due.

GlazoSmithkline through its hydration product Lucozade increased its sponsorship to Harbour View Football Club on Sunday October 23 at the match between itself and Waterhouse Football Club. The 10 percent increased sponsorship of $660,000 was presented at half time by Kenneth Dodd, country manager at the company and Flavia Case, marketing executive. Additionally there was continued commitment of 100 cases of Lucozade to the club along with Ribena for its First Kick junior programme on Saturdays.

The sponsorship presentation represents Lucozade 5th consecutive year of sponsorship which has seen an annual increase since the beginning.

At the sponsorship presentation yon Sunday, Dodd reiterated his company’s commitment for the long haul to the club saying that “it presented the perfect opportunity for GlaxoSmithkline to achieve its objective of serving its target markets through sports.” He also said that “the brand is here to stay because there is a real need for it in all sports and hence will be around for Harbour View for a long time”.

Club Chairman Carvel Stewart who accepted on behalf of Harbour was very appreciative of the sponsorship by GlaxoSmithkline. He spoke about the benefits of proper hydration and lauded getting Lucozade, a world class product for his players. He also had high praises for the Ribena for the young ballers programme at the club. Not be left out was the benefit of getting cash as well as part of the sponsorship which helped to allow the club to deal with its financial obligations while noting that the sponsorship had grown every year to date.

North America’s top professional football league is set to open its doors wider for young international talent next year, but it remains unclear if Jamaicans will be among the primary targets for welcome.

Major League Soccer (MLS) recently announced it will adjust its rule for designated players (DP). That should result in a greater influx of untested youth from countries outside the United States and Canada, where the league is played.

The rule, which becomes effective for the 2012 season, reduces the financial downside invited foreign players will have on MLS clubs who decide to sign them.

Currently, MLS clubs are each allowed three DPs. The salary paid to each, usually a high-profile but veteran player such as David Beckham or Thierry Henry, is well above that of others on the team’s roster. A DP also accounts for US$335,000 against the total amount each team is allowed to spend for players’ salaries – otherwise called the salary cap.

Therefore, DPs like Beckham and Henry are able to earn millions of dollars per year in salary, but not all of that is counted against their team’s salary cap. But the clubs still feel the hit for signing them as it limits the amount they can spend on other players.

YOUTH HOPE

According to the new rule, clubs, which before were not eager to sign untested youngsters as DPs and absorb the huge salary cap impact, will now be able to afford to take a chance on them in the hope of developing their talent. The MLS will also increase the capability of each team to scout overseas players.

According to executive vice-president Todd Durbin, MLS has decided to accommodate younger potential.

“We had two decisions to make,” said Durbin during a recent conference call. “Do we continue to operate how we have historically, or do we make changes to these rules and tear down the last barrier to entry?”

The new rule will allow designated players ages 20 and under to attract only $150,000 against an MLS team’s salary cap. Those ages 21 to 23 will cost teams $200,000 against the cap. At first glance, that could mean young local players stand to benefit.

“I think it will continue to open the possibilities for Jamaicans,” Harbour View general manager Clyde Jureidini said recently.

WHO BENEFITS?

However, the expectation is that players from South America, Central America and Mexico are likely to benefit most and immediately, despite Jamaicans’ growing reputation in MLS for producing talent.

Generally, Jamaican players do not develop as quickly as others elsewhere and Jureidini is cautious about Jamaicans’ prospects for cashing in immediately.

“Who they (MLS clubs) will select, I’m not sure,” he explained. “I don’t think the US really regards our younger players as prime targets. They’ve really gone for (Jamaican) players in their early-to-middle 20s, rather than younger players.

“In the region, USA and Mexico, in particular, are really the players who have been outstanding at the younger age group. So they probably will look at the Hispanic market and the European market.”

Jureidini believes the MLS already has access to Jamaica’s young talent through the league’s draft, which allows clubs to select players from US colleges where many Jamaicans attend on football scholarships after leaving local high schools. That way they do not have to pay much for the players’ development.

“What they have targeted the younger Jamaican players to do is get them into the collegiate system or the university system and then seep them into the (MLS) draft or into their franchises without paying for them, or paying for them at extremely low values,” said Jureidini.

CONTRIBUTORS

Currently there are several Reggae Boyz, or players who qualify to represent Jamaica, on MLS rosters. Many, including Dane Richards of New York Red Bulls, Toronto FC’s Ryan Johnson, Omar Cummings and Tyrone Marshall of Colorado Rapids, Khari Stephenson of San Jose Earthquakes, O’Brian White of Seattle Sounders, Jeff Cunningham of Columus Crew and Andy Williams of Real Salt Lake, played at US colleges.

But despite unquestioned value to their clubs and the league – Cunningham became the MLS’s all-time leading goal scorer recently – they do not command salaries near those of Beckham, Henry and other DPs.

Jureidini believes Jamaica should focus on improving its young talent and not just to fit into MLS, but more lucrative leagues elsewhere. However, he hopes a few will get a chance in MLS via the new rule.

“(The new rule) doesn’t say that they (MLS clubs) won’t get one or two (Jamaicans). But I don’t think that they (the clubs) are gonna come (to Jamaica) for (players),” said Jureidini. “There may be the odd one and I hope that there is.

“What we have to do, most importantly, is lift our standard to international standard at a younger age group and have more players at a younger age group ready for international markets.”

SLNA are Champions of the Vietnamese Premier League after Andre Fagan scores a fourth minute scorcher to lead!

Andre “Bullet” Fagan shot Song Lam Nghe Am into the lead as early as the 4th minute of play to take the championship honours, in the three jamaicans first year in the V-League.

His tenth (10th) goal of the season, the 24 year old Harbour View FC on Loan striker pushed his team ahead, even as the game ended 1-1 it meant SLNA are crowned Champions with a major contribution added with the strike force of Devon Hodges and the injured Kavin Bryan.

The 3-man attacking team, rattled up 26 goals amongst them in the League as Fagan finished with 10 goals, Hodges 9 and Kavin who led the initial onslaught with 7, but has been sidelined for the last two months with a broken bone in his leg.

Andre who scored twice, has a chance to capture a second Cup Championship title when he plays in the Final next week as Devon was late in signing hence not eligible to play and Kavin who scored three times in this competition is unavailable.

Both Fagan and Bryan already have Contract offers with other V-League for the next season.