Thu | Nov 26, 2020

Ready to impress - Foster eager to show class at MLS Caribbean Combine

Published:Friday | January 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMMarc Stamp
Portmore United player Maalique Foster (left) puts Arnett Gardens' Fabian Reid under pressure during their Red Stripe Premier League encounter at the Spanish Town Prison Oval last year.

Maalique Foster, Portmore United's striker said that the opportunity to be seen by overseas scouts in the Major League Soccer (MLS) Caribbean Combine from January 9-11 is a stepping stone towards his dream of playing professional football overseas.

Foster is among three young Jamaican talent who will depart next Tuesday for the annual MLS Caribbean Combine at the Sawgrass Hotel and Suites Sports Complex outside Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the United States of America.

The other invitees are Alex Marshall of Cavalier, 17-year-old standout goalkeeper Jeadine White also of Cavalier; and Arnett Gardens defender Oneil Anderson.

"I feel overwhelmed because this has always been my dream to get a chance to showcase my talent to professional clubs overseas. This is just my start," Foster told The Gleaner yesterday.

"I have scored three goals so far in the Red Stripe Premier League, but missed games through injuries, as well as I was suspended for one game because of a red card. I am fine with my fitness. Since I heard the news last November, I have stepped up training. I always wanted the chance to expose my talent, so I am happy for that. The way they play in the MLS, I think I am fit for that league," the former Jamaica College schoolboy star, shared.

Major League Soccer announced a group of 22 players, who have been invited to participate in the 2018 MLS Caribbean Combine. Players will compete in front of scouts for three days for the potential to be signed directly by an MLS club during an upcoming transfer window.


Showcase of talent


The MLS Caribbean Combine is an annual showcase of Caribbean football talent between the ages of 18-21 organised jointly by Major League Soccer and the Caribbean Football Union in 2013, with the inaugural combine being held in January 2014. All 31 member associations are encouraged to send representatives that fit the criteria.

The combine provides opportunities for Caribbean players to be observed by MLS scouts with the hopes of being invited to the MLS Combine, an invite-only showcase event held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida prior to the annual MLS SuperDraft.

The combine is part of an agreement between the two entities as they try to promote football development throughout the Caribbean region.