Portmore look to move clear of the pack
Leaders Portmore United will once again try to separate themselves from the pack when they play away to former champions Waterhouse at the Drewsland Stadium.
Last year's beaten finalists are one of four teams topping the league on points, but they enjoy pole position based on goal difference, and coach Shavar Thomas wants his charges to stamp their class and separate themselves from the rest.
"What we are looking for is maximum points," said Thomas ahead of today's game, adding that "we have to create a distance between ourselves and the others".
Thomas continued: "In saying that, I am fully aware of the qualities of Waterhouse and will not be taking them for granted or even attempt to look past them. Based on my observation, I would say that defensively, they are solid and have not given up much in that area, and that is what we have to target."
Potential to unlock
To get the better of the home team, Thomas will be looking to the return of national representatives Ewan Grandison and Ricardo Morris to give them the required lift.
"They are senior players in the squad. Ewan is the captain, and his presence will help the team tremendously. They also bring quality to the team. Ewan is very steady, and Ricardo has the potential to unlock any defence once he is tuned in, and we will be looking to him to bring that quality," explained the man who has represented the country at every level.
Waterhouse's Richard McCallum, who, last week, came out of retirement to don the gloves, said his team's performance so far has been a mixed one. This, he said, is evidenced by the fact that they have drawn all three of their matches.
"Clearly, we are doing some things right, but equally clear is the fact that we are doing some things wrong also.
"Among the positives is the fact that we are tight defensively in that we have not conceded a lot of goals. Also, we are getting free in front of goal and getting chances, but we need to be more clinical in front of goal and convert these chances. We need to improve on that," said the former national goalkeeper.
His team, McCallum added, intends to make the most of the opportunities they will get to change their fortunes.
"We have looked at all our opponents in the same way. They are just teams that we have to beat so we treat Portmore United no different from how we treat Arnett Gardens, Boys' Town, or Sandals South Coast. They are all the same, and we just see them as obstacles in our way," McCallum said.
Today, he said, would be as good a time as any to get their first win.
"We are in a good place right now as all the players are fit and ready. No one is suspended. We have no injuries, so the coach has a full squad from which to select," he said.
Waterhouse lost the services of the veteran Romario Campbell to Humble Lion and the bright talent of Rodave Murray to studies in the United States but were boosted by the addition of Tramaine Stewart, especially, and he will be important to their offensive chances. The former Portmore United player will be eager to get one over his former club, who would be looking to the exciting Malique Foster to tease the Waterhouse defence.
Craig Foster is averaging more than a goal a game, and he will be looking to continue that run when his Reno FC play away to Boys' Town at Barbican, while Humble Lion will be looking to stop the rot when they host defending champions Arnett Gardens.
Sandals South Coast earned their first point of the season when they fought to a 0-0 away draw with Harbour View. Today, they go up against fellow promoted team Cavalier FC and will be thinking that they can add to their points tally.
Montego Bay United have looked a shadow of themselves this season and will be punished if they continue in a similar vein when they play away to UWI FC.
- 3:30 p.m: Boys Town vs Reno - Barbican Complex
- 3:30 p.m: Humble Lion vs Arnett Gardens - Effortville Community
- 3:30 p.m: Sandals South Coast vs Cavalier - Frome Complex
- 3:30 p.m: UWI FC vs Montego Bay United - UWI Mona Bowl
- 3:30 p.m: Waterhouse vs Portmore United - Drewsland Stadium
- 8:35 p.m: Tivoli Gardens vs Harbour View - Anthony Spaulding Complex
Teams P W D L GF GA GD Pts
Portmore 3 2 1 0 6 1 5 7
UWI FC 3 2 1 0 6 3 3 7
Arnett 3 2 1 0 5 2 3 7
Reno 3 2 1 0 4 2 2 7
H.View 3 1 2 0 2 1 1 5
Waterhouse 3 0 3 0 3 3 0 3
B.Town 3 1 0 2 3 4 -1 3
Humble Lion FC 3 1 0 2 4 6 -2 3
Cavalier 3 1 0 2 2 3 -1 0
MoBay United 3 0 1 2 2 4 -2 1
Tivoli 3 0 1 2 1 3 -2 1
Sandals 3 0 1 2 1 7 -6 1