• Saturday Jan 13, 2018

    Cayman Islands’ Ebanks targets next step

    Cayman Islands star Jonah Ebanks (pictured) participated in the 2018 MLS MLS/Caribbean Combine in Sunrise, Florida, USA.

    SUNRISE, Florida – Scoring goals on a consistent basis is arguably the most difficult facet of football.

    For nearly every club on the planet, finding and acquiring that specific kind of talent is equally as challenging

    That is why the Cayman Islands’ Jonah Ebanks was delighted to take part in the three-day Major League Soccer/Caribbean Combine at the Sawgrass Grand Hotel and Suites Sports Complex, which concluded Thursday. 

    “I love to score goals,” the 21-year-old told CONCACAF.com.  “I’m a hard worker and really like to take players on.”

    Ebanks earned a spot at the Combine thanks in large part to being the top scorer in the 2016/17 Cayman Islands Premier League with 17 goals for Academy SC, becoming only the second-ever player from the Cayman Islands to be included in the event’s five-year history.

    The invitation-only gathering saw 23 players perform in front of MLS scouts for the potential to be signed directly by a club.

    “It was a really good experience,” commented Ebanks, who has developed a deserved a reputation for beating a defender off the dribble and creating scoring opportunities.  “I learned a lot from the coaches.  I realized that there’s a lot of talent in the Caribbean as well.  It was a good challenge for me.”

    Although the pressure to catch Combine scouts’ attention was palpable, the winger reached back into a reservoir of knowledge gained from playing with the Cayman Islands U-20 and U-23 national teams to help navigate the intense process.

    “It was good experience,” Ebanks remarked on his international ventures.  “It’s a good feeling to wear the badge and play for your country.”

    Regardless of whether a spot on a MLS roster is secured or not, Ebanks will continue down his own football road.

    “I just want to do it for a living,” he finished.  “For me, it’s the only thing I like or enjoy doing…the competition, the fans, the excitement it brings.”

    The same kind of thrills that Ebanks brings to Caymanian football supporters.

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