As a rookie striker for the Trinidad and Tobago senior team, Jamal Gay has shown enormous promise at the forefront of his country’s offensive unit. Despite never playing for a Trinidad and Tobago youth team, and coming to play for the senior team straight out of high school, Jamal has shown an immense amount of poise and ability, scoring in only his third national appearance in a friendly against Barbados. In high school, Gay was named one of the top five Players of the Year for the SSFL, and single-handedly led his team to the Intercollegiate final in 2007. In that tournament, he would also win the top scorer award with nine goals to his name. At the age of 19, Jamal has shown tremendous talent as a striker, using his speed, agility and ball handling skills to his advantage and with continued hard work and dedication, his potential is practically limitless.Gay scored two goals for T&T’s Under-20 team against St. Francious Nationals on September 28th. His two goals propelled his team to win the match 3-0. Gay had an assist on August 26th when Joe Public thrashed the New England Revolution 4-0. It was the first time a Caribbean side defeated an American squad in CONCACAF club competition.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
BAYAMON, PR — The Rochester Rhinos took their 2-0 aggregate lead over the Puerto Rico Islanders into leg two of the USL First Division semifinal round on Sunday, but were unable to advance to their seventh league title game as Puerto Rico scored twice in the first half to level the series, and in the final minute of series overtime to advance to the final 3-2 on aggregate.
Puerto Rico was without Nigel Henry (injury), Scott Jones (suspension) and Edwin Miranda (suspension).
It was corner kicks that would seal the Rhinos fate in a 3-0 loss with all three Islander goals coming off a set piece. It appeared that the Rhinos had scored the goal they needed, but it was ruled that Johnny Menyongar was offside.
It was, however, the Islanders who struck first in the early stages of the first half as Fabrice Noel connected on a corner kick in the 11th minute to give the home side a 1-0 lead, cutting the Rochester advantage in half.
Rochester had a chance to even the score in the 20th minute but couldn’t connect. Later in the match the Islanders had another scoring chance off a corner kick but Rhinos goalkeeper Scott Vallow was able to punch the ball up and out of harm’s way.
The top scoring team in the league was able to even the aggregate score off a corner kick when Taiwo Atieno finished off a Noah Delgado corner kick in the later stages of the first half, giving them a 2-0 lead in the game at the 33 minute mark.
Another Islander opportunity was foiled when Vallow was up to the challenge, stopping an opportunity for Noah Delgado from in close to keep the score 2-0 going into the half.
The Islanders continued to pressure Rochester from the beginning of the second half. The Rhinos had a chance in the 60th minute but goalkeeper Bill Gaudette was there to make the stop.
In the 77th Johnny Steele fed a pass to Fabrice Noel that looked dangerous, however, Vallow made the stop.
The Rhinos ramped up the pressure as regulation was coming to a close, just missing when a Tiger Fitzpatrick attempt just missed wide.
As overtime was underway it was Steele who nearly struck first, just missing the upper corner which would have given the Islanders a 3-2 aggregate lead. Minutes later Puerto Rico’s Fabrice Noel had a golden opportunity but was denied by a diving save by Vallow.
After both teams weathered the storm during the first fifteen minutes of overtime without scoring, the second overtime would be the last chance to win the series before the penalty kick round began. With both teams trying to net the deciding goal it was apparent that nearly 120 minutes of play were taking a toll.
With the time winding down in the second overtime the Rhinos season came to an abrupt end when the Islanders scored off another corner kick with defender Cristiano Arrieta sending the Islanders to the first league title match against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
In the recent hundred-year anniversary of country’s history with football, a new force is coming that is sure to make waves in the football community. This past Friday, two players flew to Port of Spain to continue their careers for United Petrotrin. Why are these players different? They’re not from T&T. Jeremy Gold and Ian Bennett are some of the first non-Trinidadian players to play in the Pro League. Gold and Bennett’s sports agent, CEO of MLF Sports Heather MacKenzie, made this transfer when the team expressed interest to boost the team from their current sixth place ranking.
MacKenzie is not unfamiliar with T&T football. She represents 12 players from Trinidad. Two of her athletes, OseiTelesford and Andre Toussaint, have played the last two games for the National Team. She believes that Gold and Bennett could make a substantial impact for United Petrotrin and also begin a new relationship between T&T and players from other countries.
Jeremy Gold was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, historically a big American football town. He attended the IMG Soccer Academy in Florida early on in his career, and attended college at the College of Charleston. Gold just finished the PDL (Premier Development League) season and lead his team, the Thunder Bay Chill, to their first National Championship. He finished with a total of nine goals and three assists in 15 games.
Ian Bennett hails from Canada and started his football career in Florida as well, training in Cocoa Beach, Florida for the Ontario Provincial Program. He graduated from Marian College in Indiana with accolades such as the Mid-Central College Conference Player of the Year, three-time conference first team selection, and set school records for career goals and points. He recently finished the season with the Richmond Kickers.
If more information is desired, Heather MacKenzie and her players can be contacted at 1-336-722-9944.