Harbour View and Sporting Central Academy will contest the second end-of-round final of the JFF/PLCA Under-21 competition at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex today, starting at 6:00 pm.

Harbour View coach Harold Thomas said his team has improved since the start of the second round and he is expecting that good form to carry over in the final.

“We are confident and we’ve been playing well and I think there has been a lot of improvement over the last few games. Our programme at Harbour View, like I suspect it is at Sporting, is one where the young players are exposed to senior team football so they are very seasoned and upbeat,” he said.

Harbour View, who have won the last two league titles, did not have the best of first rounds, but have since chalked up numerous victories to surge to pole position in the league.

The ‘Stars of the East’ topped the second round with 24 points and lead the overall standings with 44 from 22 matches.
The Clarendon-based Sporting Central added 20 points in the second round to finish behind Harbour View and are also second in the overall standings, trailing their eastern rivals by a single point.

The teams battled to a 0-0 stalemate in their league clash at the Harbour View Mini-Stadium last Friday, but Thomas told the Observer that the draw will not have any impact on today’s game.

“In any final it’s about the effort and fighting spirit that is there on the day and I think that any advantage for either team will come from the will power on the day. Given our long-term goal to retain the title, it would be a morale-booster to win (today),” Thomas said.

His Sporting Central counterpart, Nigel Stewart, has also expressed confidence and is determined to grab an end-of-round title after losing the first one to Portmore United.

“They are a good team and they have won the competition the last two seasons, but at the start of the season we set a plan to win the finals and to win the league. We got in the first final and we lost to Portmore so we are even further motivated to do well.

“We are a young and very rounded team and really depend on everybody to play their role. I don’t think we rely on any single player or position because it’s more of a team effort,” Stewart said.

HARBOUR View’s manager Vin Blaine was pleased with his team’s defending after they eked out a crucial 1-0 victory over Waterhouse in Sunday’s third round Digicel Premier League clash at the mini-stadium.

“We defended stoutly and I think that was the difference in the game… we didn’t concede any goals so we must be satisfied with that. That’s the aim; to score and not let the opponents score and I think we defended well.

“Whenever Harbour View and Waterhouse play it’s always going to be a tough game and I think the early goal that we scored helped us… (to) settled down a bit,” he said.

The all-important goal came in the seventh minute when defender Christopher Harvey rose majestically and unchallenged to power into the net from Jermaine Hue’s pin-point corner kick.

The reigning champions Harbour View, who are currently on an eight-game unbeaten run, moved to second in the standings on 45 points, while Waterhouse continued their dismal run since an impressive first round and remained two points behind in fifth.

Both teams started positively on a patchy surface in east Kingston in the early exchanges, and despite Harvey’s well-taken goal, the visitors remained composed and launched a series of attacks in search of the equaliser.

Harbour View were not to be outdone and triggered a few counters of their own before they consolidated late on and held on desperately to keep the one-goal advantage.

Waterhouse coach Baris Johnson, while disappointed with the loss, was happy with the way his team rallied after going behind so early in the game.

“I’m not too disappointed in the way we played because I think we did well after we conceded a soft goal. I think we dominated the game from there, but it is just unfortunate we didn’t get on the score sheet.

“We are in good shape and in good form and I think we fought hard so it’s unfortunate we came out on the losing end. We need to get a little bit more movement off the ball and if we had that we perhaps would have been able to open them up a bit,” he said.

TEAMS:

Harbour View — Michard Barrett, Dicoy Williams, Montrose Phinn, Christopher Harvey, Kimorllie Brissett, Fabian Campbell, Marcelino Blackburn, Kemeel Wolfe (Lamar Nelson 67th), Jermaine Hue (Nicholas Beckett 84th), Ranique Muir (Andre Steele 76th), Lennox Creary.
Subs not used: Devon Haughton, Lamar Hodges, Clifton Waugh, Elton Thompson
Booked: Brissett (56th)


Waterhouse — Richard McCallum, Keneil Moodie, Odain Simpson, Stephen Williams (Kenardo Forbes 68th), Rohan Amos, Weston Forrest, Hugh Howell, Vincent Earl, Jason Watson (Akeem Thenstead 87th), Jonathan Williams, Jermaine Anderson (Peter Keyes 68th).
Subs not used: Dwight Lewis, Ashani Walker, Joel Messam, Jermaine Fletcher
Booked: Amos (55th), Howell (67th), Forrest (90+3)
Referee: Kevin Morrison


Assistants: Lloyd Reader and Damion Williams
Fourth Official: Doyen Tummings
Match Commissary: Richard Nathan

The tough tackling, Reggae Boyz Midfielder departed the island on Thursday morning en route to Texas, where he will rejoin forces temporarily with his teammate Lovel Palmer, who is in his second year at the club.

Diminutive in size but extra-ordinary in spirit, the 26 year old “little warrior” will seek to put-out 100% effort to make a lasting impression on the technical staff throughout a series of seven (7) competitive practice matches between February 10 to February 27th, when he is scheduled to return home.

The defending Premier League Champions leader, will miss the KSAFA Jackie Bell Knockout Final next Wednesday, after assisting in the important 2-1 semifinal victory over old rivals Boys’ Town FC on Sunday

Substitute Andre Steele blasted in the late winner as Harbour View carved out a 2-1 beating of 10-man Boys’ Town in the semi-final of the Claro/Jackie Bell Knockout at the Compound on Sunday.

Schoolboy Jamiel Hardware had given the Boys’ Town team the lead early in the game before Harbour View’s Kemeel Wolfe pulled his team level just before the half-time interval.

Harbour View will face Arnett Gardens in the final after the latter edged Waterhouse 1-0 in the opening match of the double-header.

Harbour View coach Donavan Hayes said his team’s improved showing in the second half allowed them to break the rigid resistance of the Red Brigade.

“I gave them a bit of a tongue-lashing at the break and they really picked it up in the second half and you could really see that we created more chances. The first half we were flat and Boys’ Town pressured us and gave us a tough time, which is something we expect whenever we play them, but (in the) second half we were much more dominant,” he said.

The ‘Stars of the East’ were pushed on the back-foot early when Hardware pounced on a loose ball in the box and watched as his miscued effort looped beyond the outstretched palms of goalkeeper Michaud Barrett in the third minute of play.

Apparently stunned by the goal, Harbour View constantly gave the ball away and had to defend countless early attacks from the marauding Collie Smith Drive-based team.

In the 42nd minute, Harbour View were given a life-line when indecisive Boys’ Town defending allowed Wolfe’s close range finish after tidy work from Rafeik Thomas.

The second half was a more bruising affair as both teams fought desperately and at times, wildly, for the go-ahead goal. Wolfe had a second half effort disallowed for suspicion of off-side, before the game took an ugly turn in the 74th minute when Boys’ Town player Anthony Bennett was sent packing after getting a second yellow card for a hand-slapping challenge on Kimorllie Brissett.

Harbour View’s midfield conductor Jermaine Hue, who had several verbal clashes with opposing player Daemon Benjamin, became more influential as space opened up, but the home team failed to make full use of the one-man advantage.

Hue had the last laugh in the 89th minute when he split the Boys’ Town defence with an incisive pass which allowed Steele to cannon a right-footer past”keeper Philmore Crumbie.

Boys’ Town coach Andrew Price chided his team’s inefficiency in front of goal and blamed indiscipline as the main reason for the flurry of yellow cards handed out in the second half.

“We had several opportunities to go further ahead in the first half and we missed them. I can’t fault the overall effort, but we need to be more clinical in front of goal, otherwise, missed chances will come back to haunt us,” he said.

HVFC Advances on the away goal rule, over Tivoli Gardens FC after a 2-2 draw at the Edward Seaga Complex, to go to Sunday’s semifinal against Boys’ Town FC,

A 45th minute give and go between Andre Steele and Ranique Muir caught the opposition of guard as they advanced down the leftside to slip pass the advancing Edsel Scott in goal. Steele then curled a beauty to make it 2-0 before Tivoli replied with two well taken strikes.

Firstly, substitute Roland Dean latched onto a bobbling loose ball, falling behind the defence to crack home a superb 20 yards volley leaving Michaud Barrett with absolutely no chance. Then a late freekick from Christopher “Iggy” Jackson was unstoppable to equalise.

It will be a double-header at the Harbour View Stadium with Waterhouse FC versus Arnett Gardens FC at 4pm and Harbour View FC  versus Boys’ Town FC at 7pm.

In what would have been a breath-taking victory at the death turned out to be a well contested draw in the top of the table clash at Portmore United.

Rafiek had a similar effort on 36 minutes when he again beat the stranded custodian to see his shot dribble wide of the opposite upright in a disappointing night of finishing for the marksman, when only a few goalscoring chances were created in a tight contest.

Marcelino Blackburn, was in the same vain as he snapped at 2 chances at the back post hitting the side-netting both times but not the right side of the nylon.

A gripping battle ensued throughout as both title contenders when for maximum points skewed by tactical approaches that made it a treat for the football connoisseur, as the average spectator stayed glued to the edge of his seat as the intrigued built in the last 30 minutes.

Portmore United’s main striker, Steven Morrisey was hurt late in the first half, as a hamstring twinge forced him to be replaced by Errol Stevens.

PU Substitute Tremaine Stewart came closest to scoring after 85 minutes when his sizzling right-footer kissed the crossbar on its way out of play, truly a remarkable strike from about 30 yards had the entire stadium abuzz with expectations of a goal.

Both Coaches savoured the point earned but rued the absence of three to climb up the competitive tables, as only Waterhouse FC won on Day 26 when all other 5 games ended in draws.

Jamaica captain impresses at Atlanta Beat trial

KENNESAW, Georgia, USA: Jamaica international football captain, Taneisha Vassell, will know this afternoon if she has made the cut to join the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league in the United States, after completing a rigorous two-day trial with the Atlanta Beat club yesterday.
Vassell, a 29-year-old midfielder from St Andrew, was one of two Jamaica representatives who participated in the trials.

St James native Alicia Wilson, a 31-year-old who played at central defence, was not selected for yesterday’s final full-field scrimmage, which signalled her elimination from contention for an invitation to the Beat’s pre-season training camp, which begins in March.

Wilson and Vassell, who have played at US colleges, were hoping to join national teammate Omolyn Davis in the WPS, among the top women’s leagues in the world.

Davis was recently drafted out of George Mason University by the Washington Freedom and is likely to make her pro debut when the seven-team WPS season kicks off in April.

Wilson, still troubled by a knee injury she suffered in December, did not find favour with Beat head coach James Galanis, although she impressed some observers at the trial as one of the most accomplished players on show.

She admitted, however, that the injury, which kept her out of football for a month and forced her to leave the field once during the trial’s first day, did not allow her to perform at her best. Even then, she reasoned, she could still have been among the final group from the 50-plus players who participated at the open tryout based on ability.

“I honestly thought I was one of the better players out there,” said Wilson, who has played professionally in Iceland the past few seasons. “I don’t know what they’re looking for. Only they know what they are looking for.”

Galanis indicated that the club is interested in selecting “between two and six” players to supplement the WPS squad.
Impressive performance

Despite not being fully fit after conceding that she had not trained since November, Vassell impressed Galanis with her hard tackling, composure on the ball and quick recovery on defence, catapulting her into a group of about 10 still in contention for selection.

“(Taneisha) did great,” the coach said at the end of the trial. “She has a lot of potential and she’s in the mix (for selection). Obviously she’s very skilled on the ball, good in tight spaces. She was a tough tackler as well; not afraid to go in. She was fast. Nice, solid player.”
According to Galanis, players will be notified via email before 5 p.m. today if they made the Beat squad.

For Vassell, currently a final-year student at Western Texas College, selection would mean another step to accomplishing her lifelong goal.
“This is my dream, to play professional soccer,” she said.

Testing programme

Over two days, despite the perfect weather for football, Vassell and Wilson, the sister of former Jamaica youth player Keith Wilson, were put through a testing programme of physical and technical drills, plus small-sided games and full-field scrimmages, which left both players sore after day one.

Saturday’s session lasted close to four hours. Yesterday’s was about an hour shorter.

Vassell hopes if she makes the team it will open doors for other women footballers from her homeland.

“I’m coming here to just make the team and do my best, really,” said Vassell, “so I can make other opportunities for Jamaica.”
She said she was satisfied with her performance and believes she has “a pretty good chance” to join the Beat. If she doesn’t, she will likely join another club in the US as, Vassell said, she had received offers elsewhere.

WPS players are among the highest paid female footballers in the world, with salaries ranging “from US$20,000-plus to high US six figures,” a league source said.

Many of the world’s top players, including Brazil’s Marta, have joined the league, plus the best of the US national team, which has won World Cup and Olympic titles.

The Beat was one of two WPS expansion franchises in 2010 when the team finished last in the standings. However, the club has reportedly acquired several US national players for the 2011 season.

Former Harbour View FC Player, Cornel “Duece” Dyce died today of a heart attack in the USA.
Cornell Dyce is survived by his wife Carol Dyce, and three daughters – Coneilia Dyce 26, Camisha Dyce 23, and Candice Dyce 15.
Our Sincere Condolences to his family, friends and associates at this most difficult time.

We remember the laughter we remember the tears,
Together we faced challenges, opponents and fears

As boys we stood together, as we say “back then,”
Together we fought opponents like stalwart men

HView Mountains remember, and the beaches remind,
No friend of ours will be left behind

Cornel our brother cornel our friend,
Our prayers for you will never end

Your roaring laughter still echo in our ears,
Time will not silence you in the coming years

Your rambunctious laughter and love of food,
Will not be forgotten with your exuberant mood

Today we pause to share your family’s grief,
We remember you playing for River Reef

We all bid you farewell from life’s fatigue,
You were a tireless champion in the Minor League

Today we see you, no longer the young pup,
When you played so proudly in the Manning Cup

We remember your youth of mischief, fuelled with intrigue,
We watched you mature in the major league

You grew from a twig and became a solid beam,
You proudly served on our national team

You rose from obscurity, and made your mark as a man,
You are forever etched in the Blue and Gold clan

We pray for your family we pray for your soul,
In Blue and Gold hearts there’s a gaping hole

May God comfort your family, and be merciful to you,
Rest in the golden sunset as it kisses the ocean’s blue

For you dear friend, Jesus paid the ultimate price,
Lord please clear the cheque written, for Cornel Dyce

One phase of life’s journey has now come to an end,
We pray for you our team mate our brother and friend.

Karl Grant (for Cornel Dyce Feb, 01, 2011) 
“Lord, have mercy on my son” (Matthew 17:15).

Arnett Gardens continued their winning ways in the JFF/PLCA Under-21 League after Fabian Reid’s sixth-minute strike led them to a 1-0 win over Portmore United in yesterday’s match at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex.

Though languishing in the middle of the standings, Arnett Gardens, through the efforts of Reid, Javoni Simms and Ricardo Oldham, took the fight to the visitors, for whom goalkeeper Garice McPherson made a few crucial saves.

Eying a spot in the second end-of-round final, Portmore’s Alanzo Adlam, Nickoy Christian and substitute Paul Wilson sparked occasionally in the second half, but they were competently held off by the Arnett Gardens defence.

The victory follows Arnett Gardens’ 4-1 dismantling of Benfica of St Ann in last week’s round of matches and puts them on 29 points from 20 matches in the overall standings. Portmore’s loss left them on 39, also from 20.

At the Drewsland Stadium, Ashani Walker netted as Waterhouse beat visiting Boys’ Town 1-0, while Atida Chambers and Delroy Phillips scored a goal each in Reno’s blanking of St George’s Sports Club at Lynch Park in Portland.

In another match at Brancourt, Sporting Central Academy raced by Village United 4-1. Gavin Bascombe with a brace, and one each from Andre Blake and Dwight Dunk were the contributors for Sporting, while Aldane Grant got the consolation goal for the visitors.

In a late kick-off Harbour View drew 0-0 with fourth placed Tivoli Gardens (36 points) at the Compound.

Harbour View is now 40 from 20 games, one point atop the standings ahead of Portmore United.

DEFENDING champions Harbour View jumped to fourth in the table and kept the pressure on the leading pack with a resilient 1-0 win over Arnett Gardens at the Compound on Wednesday night.

The winning goal was the first Harbour View have put past this opposition this season and came in the form of a 20th-minute penalty that was powerfully hit home by a confident Marcelino Blackburn.

The result meant the champions continued their solid run of form that has seen them unbeaten in all competitions since mid-December, while also leaving Arnett Gardens in the midst of a tough battle to end the round in the top six.

A frantic first half had the hosts dominating the opening minutes before their visitors tipped the balance the other way, enjoying plenty of possession for much of the first 45. Both sides had chances to score but failed to make the most of them, and it was Arnett who would pay for their profligacy.
The decisive moment came from a long ball forward which Harbour View skipper Richard Edwards, making a rare foray into the opposition box, ran onto, bursting through the defence and having his ankles clipped by the struggling centre back.

It was an easy decision for referee Valdin Legister and Blackburn, having missed a spot kick against Village United last month, stepped up again to confidently hit it into the bottom corner of the net.

Further chances came and went at both ends and the visitors increased the pressure in the latter stages, but a solid defensive display coupled with some acrobatic saves by Harbour View ‘keeper Michard Barrett ensured the home side held onto their slender lead until the final whistle.

Arnett Gardens’ coach, Paul Davis rued the error that left his side with nothing.

“I think it’s a game of mistakes tonight. I think we made one mistake and lapsed and they scored a penalty. Overall it was a good game; two teams fighting to play football. I think we gave Harbour View too much respect and it cost us the game.”

His opposite number Donovan Hayles had mixed feelings following his side’s victory.

“We made the game more difficult than it should be; we couldn’t put them away, especially in the second half we created three clear openings.
“I think we played a very good game, especially in the first half … so I’m very pleased with our team today. But in terms of the scoreline, not too pleased. We left too much to chance.”

TEAMS:

HARBOUR VIEW — Michard Barrett, Dicoy Williams, Montrose Phinn, Christopher Harvey, Kimorllee Brisett, Richard Edwards, Marcelino Blackburn, Andre Steele, Jermaine Hue, Rafeik Thomas, Elton Thompson.

Subs not used: D Haughton, J Richards, K Wolfe, F Campbell, L Nelson, J Spence, A McFarlane.

ARNETT GARDENS –– Damion Hyatt, Rasheede Clarke, Marvin Stewart, Ryan Powell, Dwayne Gayner, Ricardo Smith, Rohan Reid, Garfield Gellespie, Leon Strickland, Nicholas Dodd, Kirk Ramsey.

Subs not used: J McLeish, D McKenley, R Stern, K Brown, O Campbell, R Dennis, V Manning.