Cayman Islands international Mark Ebanks poses for a photo in a Fort Lauderdale Strikers jersey after signing with the North American Soccer League club on October 25, 2013. (Photo courtesy of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers)
FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida – The Fort Lauderdale Strikers announced Friday the signing of Cayman Islands international Mark Ebanks for the remainder of the season.
The forward joins the North American Soccer League (NASL) club from Cayman’s Elite SC. He will be evaluated by the team for future considerations within the Strikers organization and other teams owned by Traffic Sports, including Desportivo Brazil.
“On behalf of CONCACAF and as a fellow Caymanian, I congratulate Mark Ebanks on achieving this great opportunity' said CONCACAF President and Cayman Islands Football Association President, Jeffrey Webb. “This is a reminder that opportunities are out there in professional football for talented young players from across the Caribbean if they show the hard work and determination that this game demands”
Ebanks, the first Caymanian to sign with an NASL side, expressed his happiness with the move abroad.
“I’m excited about the opportunity,” said the 22-year-old. “I’m looking forward to proving myself and hopefully get a contract with the club and help the team next year.”
In World Cup Qualifying for Brazil 2014, Ebanks made five appearances for the Cayman Islands, scoring two goals -- one each against El Salvador and the Dominican Republic.
In 2010, he went overseas to play for Ashford Town (Middlesex) F.C. in England, a member of Division One Central of the Southern League.
“Mark is a very fast, young player, with a lot of potential” said Strikers head coach Günter Kronsteiner. “We look forward to taking a more thorough look at him and evaluating him for the future.”
Fort Lauderdale has two games remaining games on its NASL regular-season schedule. The Strikers have a Saturday meeting at Minnesota United FC, before closing out the Fall Season at home against FC Edmonton on November 2.