Lowe expects son to excel in MLS

Former Jamaica international Onandi Lowe (yellow) will be rooting for his son, Damion, who will start his professional career with the Seattle Sounders in Major League Soccer. (Photo: Mexsport)

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands -- Former Jamaica striker Onandi Lowe is confident his son Damion will make a positive impact on Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders.

The younger Lowe was drafted eighth in the MLS Super Draft last month -- one of three Jamaicans chosen in the first ten selections -- after three years at the University of Hartford in the United States.

At 6-foot, 3-inches tall, the defender possesses the physical characteristics of his powerfully built father, but prefers to marshal the defence rather than display ferocious attacking capabilities.

Onandi told CONCACAF.com he wasn’t surprised that his 20-year-old was one of the most highly sought after university footballers in the United States. 

“A good teacher always has an excellent student,” Lowe said with a laugh.  “Damion has football is in his blood.  I knew one day he would hit the market.  He is a young man who always set his goals and is disciplined.  This is the chance he always wanted.” 

A dominant figure for Jamaica in the 1990’s, the elder Lowe also played in MLS for the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City), as well as with Port Vale, Rushden & Diamonds and Coventry City in England.

Lowe commented that the MLS progressed significantly since his playing days. 

 “The MLS is more professional than when I played,” said the 39-year-old.  “It is quickly becoming a highlight league, with players from Europe coming over to play.  The MLS is making good moves.”

In 65 international appearances, Lowe scored 27 goals and was known as a free-kick specialist.

He recalled that the most memorable moment of his career was representing Jamaica at the 1998 FIFA World Cup Finals in France. 

Jamaica was the first English-speaking Caribbean nation to participate in the tournament.  Under the guidance of Brazilian head coach Rene Simoes, Lowe played the entire 90 minutes in an historic win over Japan (2-1), as well as the opening loss to Croatia (3-1).

“That was the height,” expressed Lowe.  “A great memory for me that I was part of a team that reached the pinnacle of the game.”

And with Damion’s career off to an outstanding start, Lowe may get the chance to relive World Cup excitement…as a father cheering on his son.