The play of Jermaine Taylor (pictured) will be keep to Jamaica's 2017 plans. (Photo: Mexsport)
Jermaine Taylor is a veteran defender in CONCACAF. He is the only player to captain Jamaica from the U-15 level to the senior squad, playing in three CONCACAF Gold Cups (2005, 2011, 2015). The 32-year-old took some time to speak to CONCACAF.com about his career thus far and his future ambitions.
How old were you when you first started to play football?
I started football quite late actually. But I started as a professional when I was 18 so I caught up quickly with the fundamentals of the game and I was able to progress and make football a genuine career for me.
How key was Harbour View in your development as a footballer?
Harbour View F.C. was a good learning curve for me. I got a lot of playing time. However St. Georges Sports Club in Portland was where everything started for me. It was where I developed the love for the sport and grew a real passion and desire to play it. I will never forget the memories of starting out there.
Growing up which footballer did you admire the most?
Zinedine Zidane for me was the player I admired the most growing up. Club and country he was outstanding and really the best player on the planet. His technical ability was superb.
You made your debut for Jamaica on November 24, 2004 in a 12-0 win over St. Martin at the National Stadium. What was the feeling like making your debut for Jamaica?
It was an awesome feeling making my debut for my country. I was very excited and honoured to make this step. Very few players have played for Jamaica at every level from U-15 level to U-17 to U-20 to U-23 to senior level. So I am very happy to be part of that list of players. It shows that hard work pays off at the end of the day.
Since 2011 you have played your football in the MLS. How do you compare football in the MLS to football in Jamaica?
The MLS is much more physical and fast pace with good quality players while in Jamaica the League is not as fast but has strong players nonetheless.
What are your goals for 2017?
My goal for 2017 is to first make it to the playoffs with my new club Minnesota United FC and secondly to win the MLS Cup for 2017. It is the one trophy I have not won that I have been involved in. I have won the Caribbean Cup for Jamaica; I have won the CFU Club Championship. I have won the conference titles during my time at Houston Dynamo. So this piece of silverware is one that I am aiming for.
What advice do you have for youths who want to play football professionally?
Hard work pays off. Whatever you put in is what you get out. So ensure you put in the effort to get the good rewards.
Outside of football what do you like to do for fun?
Outside of football, I like to play video games. It helps me to relax and it is part of my recovery process.