St. John's, Antigua - The 2014 MLS/CFU combine kicked off in Antigua as 24 players from across the region gathered with high hopes of taking the next steps in their footballing careers.
All the selected players from the various territories of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) arrived on the island and will take to the field over the next few days to impress upon the Major League Soccer (MLS) personnel.
Once successful, the chosen attendees will be invited to attend the annual Adidas MLS Player Combine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from January 10-14.
The MLS sponsored event, which will also be facilitated by the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) organizing committee and will commence with two evening matches. The ABFA has given assurances that the facilities, field of play and accommodations, are ready and rearing to go for this weekend of high level football.
The response for the Combine has also been well attended by top MLS coaches as well.
Former United States player and head coach of the Houston Dynamo Dominic Kinnear said, “I think it’s good because you can’t be everywhere at once,” Kinnear told MLSsoccer.com. “Sometimes you only see one game on a scouting trip; I think to gather a group of players to give you a chance to see the best players that makes everything so much easier.”
Kinnear also spoke on how the Caribbean Combine will make it much easier for interested MLS clubs to scout talents within the CFU by stating: “You’ll be down there for a couple of days so you’re not just going in and watching a Saturday or Sunday game and then fly out,” Kinnear recounted. “And then sometimes the guy you’re going to watch doesn’t even play.”
"That inconvenience won't exist in Antigua: The four-day MLS Caribbean Combine is guaranteed to give the 24 invited players the chance to impress in game action.
Kinnear is convinced that the showcase will not only help the league's talent pool, but it will likely also encourage other leagues around the world.
“To have this here, I think MLS is doing some great things. I would not be surprised to see other leagues around the world following suit,” he ended.
The CFU is extremely happy for making this oppurtinuity available to players around the region and hope that the combine will be an official annual event in the Major League Soccer calendar.