Palmer 'living the dream'
Nodley Wright, Gleaner Writer
National utility player Lovel Palmer appears to be settling quickly to life in the US Major League Soccer (MLS), having already earned a starting place and scored a goal after just his third game.
The former Harbour View captain last Saturday scored the second goal in his team's 3-0 win over Chivas USA at the Roberston Stadium, Houston's home base.
Palmer, who was adjudged the game Most Valuable Player (MVP), was more than pleased with the job he did.
"I am overwhelmed, I actually feel like I am living the dream and every day I go to training, I try to learn something new and try to improve on my game. The players and the coach really help me a lot. They encourage me a whole lot and give me the confidence to play and kick shots and express myself," said the St Elizabeth native, who was earning his second successive MVP award.
The second MVP award, he said, earned him the right to play reggae music in the changing room. He was quick to point out that he will not get carried away with the early success.
"I know the work has just started and we still have 26 games to go. My aim is to stun them continuously so people will begin to respect Jamaican players and local players too because I still consider myself a local player," the 25-year-old said.
Palmer's goal, the second of his team's three was described as a 'wonder goal' by an article on the club's website.
In the said article, Houston coach Dominic Kinnear was full of praise for Palmer and his central midfield partner Geoff Cameron, who opened the scoring and whose goal was also described as something for the highlight reel.
"We talked before the game and we said if (Lovel Palmer and Geoff Cameron) win the battle in there, it could be very positive for us. I didn't know it was going to be that positive and that impactful. But I thought both of them played very well today ... . So, all the things were clicking for us. Defensively, they were very solid, and obviously attacking-wise they helped us out a lot today," Kinnear said of the midfield partnership.
"I thought he was good all-around," he added of Palmer. "His goal was fantastic. We saw him hit a goal similar to that against Dallas in preseason down in Orlando. In practice, we noticed that he can strike a ball from distance. He's not far off when he shoots.
"What a wonderful goal in his first start for the team. I thought overall him and Geoff working together; they made it very difficult to break down. They were very helpful on the offensive side, so I was very happy," Kinnear added of Palmer's performance.