(above, l-r) Everton Gonsalves, President of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association; Gordon Derrick, President of the Caribbean Football Union; and MLS Technical Director Alfonso Mondelo.
ST.JOHN’S, Antigua -- A new chapter in Caribbean football history was written on Thursday, when the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and Major League Soccer (MLS) revealed that they have entered into a partnership to host an MLS/Caribbean Player Combine in 2014.
The announcement was made at the City View Hotel by Gordon Derrick, President of the CFU; Everton Gonsalves, President of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association; and Alfonso Mondelo, MLS Technical Director.
The four-day combine will take place January 2-5 at the Antigua Recreation Ground. It will feature elite-level players invited from the Caribbean, ages 18-21, who will compete in front of League scouts for an opportunity to earn an invitation to the annual adidas MLS Player Combine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, later that month.
“Quite a few players have played, continue to play in the MLS and have done so successfully,” Mondelo about the impact of Caribbean players on the league. “Now we are looking forward to the next generation of players who will be coming in.
“As MLS moves forward we have a mission of being one of the top leagues in the world by 2022.”
Derrick thanked MLS for its foresight in providing such a tremendous opportunity and urged those who participate to give it their best.
“We as the leaders in the CFU can only take you there,” said Derrick. “It is your job to take it to the next level. However, this is the inaugural one and we are hoping coming out of how well it goes this partnership will continue to grow and throughout time youngsters will see the true avenue and direction of how they can make a living in this wonderful sport called football.”
The CFU will be reaching out to each of its 31 member associations, asking them to select players who fit the required criteria in order to participate.