Jamaica's Andre Lewis is shown playing against Japan in 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
Andre Lewis is a mercurial talent on the rise. The 22-year-old has enjoyed international success at the youth level, scoring in the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Now he is aiming for bigger things, including a spot on the Reggae Boyz’s roster for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Lewis took some time to speak with CONCACAF.com about his goals.
How old were you when you first started to play football?
I was eight-years-old when I first started to play football. I would see my brother and cousins play in the street. I wanted to play with them, so I started kicking around the football and, since then, I have loved this game.
Which player did you look up to growing up?
I've always looked up to one of my favourite players…Cristiano Ronaldo. He is one of the greatest to play and he's such a talented and accomplished player. Lately, I have also been looking up to Luka Modric as he is also an amazing player. We play the same position, and I would love to be as good as him one day.
Since you were young you have had the nickname “LA”. Where did this nickname stem from?
I got the nickname “LA” because of my name Andre Lewis. My teammates basically turn around the first letter of my last name and the first letter of my first name, which spells out “LA”. Prior to that, I got that firstly from a man named Mr. Peter Reid from the St Catherine Football Association after playing the All Parish in Jamaica. He came up to me and say he is going to call me “LA” when I turn a professional footballer (laugh).
You played for Jamaica in the 2011 FIFA U-17 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. What was it like, not only playing in that tournament, but also scoring?
Scoring in the U-17 FIFA World Cup in Mexico against France was one of my top, most amazing memories I have. I was overwhelmed with joy and happiness to be able to score for my country. It really was a wonderful occasion. Disappointed we drew 1-1, but it was a good result. It was the first time we didn’t lose a game at a U-17 FIFA World Cup, so it was a stepping stone for us. It is a good memory.
You made your senior debut against Honduras in a 1-0 win last week. What does that mean to you?
It was a wonderful feeling. I felt happy to be back in the national program. I have been on the fringes for a while, but to go and make my debut…it was great and to get the win even better. Now, I want to play more for Jamaica.
What advice you have for youths who want to play football professionally?
The advice I have for youths who want to play football is to keep working hard no matter what. You need to have a lot of dedication and commitment as training is so important to develop yourself as a player. Focus on the game and improving yourself physically and mentally. Always be yourself.
What are your goals for 2017?
My goals for 2017 are to hopefully make my MLS debut with the Portland Timbers and to make it to the finals with my USL club (Portland Timbers 2). Also, I would like to be a part of the CONCACAF Gold Cup squad. I hope to be able to continue representing my country Jamaica with the national team and to win tournaments with them. I aim to improve as a player and to continue developing my football skills.
Outside of football, what do you like to do for fun?
I don't have a lot of free time outside of football, but when I do, I like to relax and play FIFA. I hang out with my friends on the team and we cook together. I talk on the phone a lot to my family in Jamaica and also to my friends and my girlfriend, who are my support system. They give me the encouragement to keep on working hard and to succeed as a football player.