Nodley Wright, Sunday Gleaner Writer
As was the situation last year, a Jamaican is a serious contender for the United States Major League Soccer (MLS) Rookie of the Year title.
Then it was Darren Mattocks and this year it is Deshorn Brown, the former St Elizabeth Technical High School standout. The six-footer is the leading scorer among rookies in the league with seven goals and second with assists and this has commentators pencilling him in for the title if he keeps his form.
"I am currently the leading scorer for the team right now, with Atiba Harris the next best with five goals and it is a good feeling, but I am not getting carried away," said the 22-year-old who was drafted at six by the Colorado Rapids in the January's MLS SuperDraft.
"I am also the leading rookie scorer with my teammate Dellon Powers second with four goals and five assists. He has one assist over me, and based on the media reports they are saying that one of the two of us will be Rookie of the Year," explained the man who spent two seasons with the University of Mobile before transferring to the University of Central Florida where he set the place alight with 13 goals in his only season.
While he is happy with the attention that his performance is generating, Brown said it is just about him making use of the opportunity given.
"How I look at this situation is that I am making use of this opportunity and getting used to the professional environment," said the player who took advantage of the unavailability of the senior players to cement his place in the squad.
According to Brown, it was the attitude that he displayed in training that convinced the coach to give him the opportunity to lead the line.
"The coach liked what I was doing. He said that I have a lot of fight and am mentally strong and because of that, he believed I could handle the situation with the main strikers being out for a while. I came in early and started contributing, so I kept getting playing time," explained Brown, whose seven goals have seen him match the number put up by Mattocks last season and which have placed him only four goals Damani Ralph's record of 11 goals for a rookie.
Ralph's record, Brown believes, is within his reach as there are nine regular season games to go though he said that that is not his focus.
"Damani and I sit and talk about it and he said he would be happy if I broke it. He is my agent and he has had this record since 2004.
"If it happens that I break it that would be great, but I do not focus on that. I focus on each game and what I have to do in it; but if it happens, great," said Brown.
What is more important to him is that his team continues to do well and that he plays his part.
"Our season has been going well. At the moment, we are second in our conference and we are on a nine-game winning streak ,and if we keep doing what we are doing then we will be in the play-offs November," Brown said.
Rookie of the year or not, Brown said he will continue to live his dream.
"It has been my dream to play professionally and I am trying to build my name as high as possible, and this is another step that I am taking. I played high school, College, I am now in the MLS and the work continues.
"The sky is the limit. I am using this as a launching pad to see how high I can go. I would love to play for Jamaica, and possibly play in Europe, but it is only hard work and production that gets you there and I am trying to put that in," the St Elizabeth native said.