FOOTBALL ON THE UP

Posted by at 2 December, at 16 : 26 PM Print

Thursday, December 2nd 2010 – Fort de France, Martinique: As the Digicel Caribbean Cup finals 2010 continue in Martinique, the final four teams – Cuba; Grenada; Guadeloupe and Jamaica – are through to tomorrow’s semi-finals and automatically qualified into the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2011. Director of Scouting and Player Recruitment for the New York Red Bulls, Jeff Agoos, who is in Martinique to look for potential talent in the region spoke exclusively to www.digicelfootball.com about what he has seen so far.

“As the Director of Scouting and Player Recruitment for the New York Red Bulls, we hope to identify and track players from within the Caribbean region with a view to possibly inviting them to play with our club. The New York Red Bulls is part of the US soccer league structure – or Major League Soccer (MLS) and this is my fourth year as part of the Technical staff for the New York Red Bulls. “

Agoos, a former US National player, and winner of five MLS championships – three of which were with DC United and two with the San Jose Earthquakes – and the 2001 MLS defender of the year is enjoying the DCC finals in Martinique.

“So far in Martinique, yeah I think there are some interesting players here. Some of them we’ve obviously seen before and we want to continue to evaluate while some are new to us – so basically it’s an ongoing process. For me, talent here is really developing and there are a couple of different levels. Some of the bigger islands tend to export more players and have better technical ability, but I think the smaller islands are catching up and, over time, I suspect they’ll give the bigger countries a good run for their money.

“For players in the CONCACAF region, the MLS offers an alternative to going to play in Europe. The MLS is also a stepping stone for players and offers them a chance to get noticed by European clubs. The MLS is also one of the best – if not the best – leagues in the CONCACAF region and a lot of that is down to the players we’re bringing in from the Caribbean. In fact, we did an analysis recently and Jamaica was one of the top countries in terms of where we get our players from. There is a significant relationship between Jamaica and the MLS where we’ve seen players from Jamaica staying three years or more.

“Of course, the Digicel Caribbean Cup is very important for teams in the region as it gives them an idea of where they stand against each other – and of course it’s a big tournament in itself that a lot of people watch and a stepping stone to the Gold Cup. It offers players invaluable international experience and exposure – so for these players it is hugely important. For us, it’s really well run and well organised, everyone has been very friendly and we’re really impressed.

“Overall, while there is less structure and tactical ability in the Caribbean, football in the region has improved significantly from where it was a few years ago and it would be wonderful to see one of these teams qualify to the World Cup – and yes, we’ve definitely spotted some potential players for the New York Red Bulls but that’s all I can say…”

All matches from the Digicel Caribbean Cup Finals 2010 will be aired live throughout the Caribbean along with coverage on FOX Television in North America. Live streaming – as well as radio commentary – is available on www.digicelfootball.com.

For more information – as well as ways to win with Digicel – log onto www.digicelfootball.com, and get the very latest news, images and results as they happen. The site provides all the up-to-date information on every single match and event relating to the Digicel Caribbean Cup, including live match reports, team information and a comprehensive image bank from every match played. In addition, video highlights from stage one and two of the competition are available online showing some of the best action from the top teams throughout the tournament.

Football (Soccer)

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