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Holness excited about MLS

Published:Saturday | January 16, 2016 | 3:37 PMLeighton Levy
Holness

Former national under-17 captain Omar Holness has revealed that three things have him excited about playing Major League Soccer (MLS) in the coming season. The 21-year-old Jamaican, the overall number-five pick, was selected by Real Salt Lake in Thursday's Major League Soccer's Super Draft following an impressive three-year career playing central midfield for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels scoring four goals and registering 11 assists.

Now that he is a professional, he gets to work with two Jamaican legends, possibly play against his childhood hero and believes he can help his club win a championship.

At Real Salt Lake he will be working with Andy Williams and Tyrone Marshall, former Jamaican players, now coaches employed by the club but on the day he said he didn't know who would select him or what to expect.

"All of the draftees were nervous because in reality we had no idea, no clue where we were going to end up but when I heard my name being called at number five for Salt Lake I was excited and surprised but when I heard I was going to join Andy and Tyrone and Demar (Phillips) up at Real Salt Lake, I was like it couldn't get better than that," he said describing the fact that the presence of the Jamaicans is for him a huge boost.

"I believe having coaches Andy Williams and Tyrone Marshall will be a very positive thing for me. I say so because having Jamaicans around you will help me settle in and give me tips that will help push me in the right direction."

much sweeter

Holness said playing professional football has always been his dream but this experience is going to be so much sweeter as he could possibly face his childhood hero, who now plays the MLS for the LA Galaxy.

"Playing football professionally has been a dream of mine ever since I was a little boy. To finally realise that it is actually coming true is very exciting. I think what I am looking forward to most is making this transition and playing against my childhood hero, Steven Gerard."

Gerard, a Liverpool icon in the Barclays Premier League currently plays for the LA Galaxy.

Holness realises that he has his work cut out for him. He is expected to come in and strengthen RSL's midfield contingent and hopefully help push the club to a title in the coming seasons. Following Thursday's draft Real Salt Lake's general manager Craig Waibe told media that the Jamaican was exactly who the club wanted. However, he was quick to point out that the Jamaican would not be pressured from the outset and would be given time to adapt.