Wed | Apr 26, 2017

MBU attracts foreign interests for CONCACAF Champions League

Published:Wednesday | July 1, 2015 | 7:00 AMPaul Clarke
Sandra Christie ... MoBay United CEO

WESTERN BUREAU:

Montego Bay United will begin the hunt for 2015-16 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League honours with two tough away fixtures.

Qualification to the Champions League has moved the club's status up a notch, as players from the United States, Brazil and Canada are reportedly seeking to join the club, which CEO Sandra Christie admitted is a fillip.

"We are seeing plenty of action with some players from overseas showing great interest in joining the club. It's really an exciting time for MBU. It shows that if foreign players can be looking to join us, then they are satisfied with our accomplishments and strides so far," she reasoned.

These players are already at MBU's home facility in Irwin, getting acclimatised and taking part in light training sessions along with the core group of players back from their break, she told The Gleaner.

"We only began our training for the Champions League on Monday, with the bulk of our players coming back. I think we are poised for a good show, and the fans will certainly enjoy the football as we continue to make Montego Bay and Jamaica proud," said Ms Christie.

Third at CFU Champs

The MoBay club qualified for the Champions League, after a third-place finish in the CFU Championships in Trinidad, at the back end of the season.

Though they stuttered in a losing effort against Arnett Gardens FC in the Red Stripe Premier League final, by all accounts they will be at full strength and raring to go in this Champions League.

They will first travel to Panama City for action against Deportiva Arabe Unido, on August 6, at Estadio Maracan Balboa, to kick-start their inaugural season in the confederation's biggest club competition.

The game will also be a historic occasion for MBU, as they are playing in the Champions League for the first time in the club's history.

They play away to supposedly stronger opposition, against MLS outfit DC United, at RFK Stadium, September 22.

They will then relish hosting the return leg of these matches on their patch and on their terms at the Montego Bay Sports Complex, where they can expect tangible home support.

They welcome DC United to the second City on Tuesday, October 20, for an 8 p.m. start, before turning their sights on a return date with Arabe Unido, two days later, Thursday, October 22, also at the Montego Bay Sports Complex, to round out the first stage of the championship.

Coaching duties will reside in the hands of Dr Dean Weatherly, who guided them to the title a season ago, and back to the final this year.

"Dr Dean Weatherly, of course, remain in charge as coach, and we are clearly delighted that he will be with the team. He has always done well for MBU and we are anticipating a good start," said Christie.